tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN August 23, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
this is so we can have the good results. we started that. we need to expand that dialogue in order to get less mistakes. we're flexible and we can change instructions. we can say that the executive instructions, we can change the lows on the same day to haveyou do you think we will punish everyone? >> let me tell you something, we had already questioned a few number of people who are related and who we have some evidence that said they are involved in some crimes. everyone who is related to a crime or involved in a crime
will be questioned, and if we have that increased evidence that shows he or she is quite involved, everyone who has committed the mistake will never be parted. there is a judicial committee that has all of the capacity to practice its procedure, and we were asked about these investigations, and we will make every detail clear to everyone, even explaining some obstacles or delays, if there is at me. the systems have to know where are we, and i can talk about this. i am not the one who does the investigation, but there is transparency, and there is the principle that is applied to everyone. it is not the right of the family, the right of the country. even if the families that i am fine, the country has to have
the right and has to get back its right. that is why it is important to follow this. your excellency, if you go to the reforms, why the west has- blake accepted these reforms. anything done, the commissioner answer is not enough. sometimes they try to change the language, because they say it is not enough. they do not change reform. did not want reform. they want you not to reform. and they want you to be way behind. and they want you not to develop preforms regarding these colonial states in not talking about the west. i'm talking about the colonial states. it is to give them all of the concessions and tell them yes, i
will give you everything. i will give up their resistance, i will give up everything that we know about the colonial states in the west. simply i could say it is their dreams. but the dream. -- let them dream. obama and the secretary of state's ask you to step aside. what is your answer? >> and so many meetings they used to ask me why you did not reply. normally we should reply. i said we are dealing with the cases individually. sometimes we make things clear. we clarify things if we know these of brotherly states adopted citizens that do not go
with the agenda. it is a brotherly or sisterly states, we can talk to them and make things clear to them. if they want to go beyond things from a we are going to go beyond. other people would not like to talk and comment about the policy of their speeches in words. as i am talking now with the syrian tv, which is precious forever one and syria, i can say that i am not to discuss these words. these words are not to be said to a president who is not appointed by the west or by america. i am appointed by the syrian people. we cannot say this to of people who support resistance as a
principal, one of its principal s. did you consider this to our president made in america or you can say this to a people who get instructions from him. regarding the ability i say what is the principle to depend on when they talk? human rights? i need to discuss these not real principles that is one of the western pillars in the country. human rights. go to the history. go to the recent history. i'm not talking about colonialism in the past. see libya today. who is responsible for the crimes for the thousands and millions of murders and wounded people? millions might not know anything about it.
widows, orphans. if we take these, can we forget to support israel and the crimes of israel against a politician in -- palestinians? who has to step down? >> how can we explain relations with the western countries? >> i can say the relations with western countries is a conflict on sovereignty. we are committed and we are abiding by our sovereignty. our sovereignty is not to be discussed. a lot of people thought it is sort of a honeymoon, but it is not at all. in every stage and every
occasion, there were trying to see the internal affairs of us to get used to. on the other side, we need them to get used to syria that will never allow anyone to interfere with the sovereignty and the internal affairs. this is the sort of relation. there is nothing new except the outside atmosphere. they are making traps. they are talking nicely. your excellency, those in pressure on syria is go and to the maximum in speaking about condemnation or military intervention from nato. are you scared? >> regarding the military action, they say this in 2003 after the fall of bad debt.
and there is no resistance. there is no big failure of the afghanistan at that time. the international community is submissive to the americans. i talked to them and spoke about the military action. after iraq,o say to sa syria is next. later on they started to try and us. this is a sort of a scenario that happens from time to time. the threat of military action if there. any action against syria will
have a huge consequence that we can never tolerate. then, within this year in capabilities the new part of it, and they do not know the whole about it. they could not tolerate the result. we need to make sure there is sort of a threat and sort of a pact on the ground without neglecting this aspect or that aspect. but, we do not have to feel scared or even to feel concerned. in 2005 when they try to do the same thing and they made use of the security council to threaten us, i said in a speech that the sovereign of syria, the national atmosphere and syria is the most important thing. the national decision of syria is the number one priority. we do not feel concerned or
scared. if we feel concerned or scared from the security council, then we have to abide by the right. if we decided to abide by our rights, we need to not feel any concerns. if we decide to feel scared, the national revolution will be out of the people decision. then we have not to feel any concerns and have to go on and go forward and not forget that these countries are in a bad situation economically, socially, and politically. we should not submit. we were too strong before and did not. your excellency, you think this
will apply on the economic deterioration and syria. the west is still pressuring syria economically, and this made the citizens a little bit concerned. what is the economic situation and syria? take and no doubt the crisis had some economic affect come out of our economic situation started to be more stronger and to be more vital, and this is a positive thing, including tourism that has a good affect on the economy. when we spoke of up a blockade, the plot but are there. they are moving from from one step to another step within different circumstances, even when we used to have good relations on the surface between us and them. and despite the fact that we
came back on our relations with europe, and not with the u.s., and of world we have other alternatives. in 2005 we adopted a resolution towards the east. we moved it towards the east. we are continuing to move towards the east. the international scene is not closed any more. the alternatives are there. and the high tech is always there, and everything -- the simple things are there. we have self-sufficiency within our needs. then we have the location of syria, which is vital economic domain. any brockway -- blockade on syria will affect some of the country and have that affect on
other countries. we should not have a local concerns about this. the crisis is there. we need to do our best to live a normal life. buy and sell inside, and the relations with our country. when you think about the syrian neighborhood, turkey, recently has a sort of escalation with syria, some say that turkey is now a tool used by washington in the middle east. how do you see the turkish situation and the relationships between turkey and syria? >> if we started with the general atmosphere, we do not feel any shame to talk to them
about everything. sometimes we take advice and need to learn our lesson and if they have experiences we will talk about the experiences, especially our neighbors. but, when it comes to the decision no one is allowed in the world to interfere in our decision. this is generally. we have some of the ankles with turkey. mutually during the last time we had good relations with turkey. we should delete the negative aspects during the church a century, but we succeeded in isolation between the negative and positive aspects. we do not know what is inside the people. [inaudible]
knows what is inside you. it might be a sort of being careful. the need to be careful. we might feel the concern to be reflected on the country. ok, we can respect us. we might be willing to play a role in the region at the expense of our country. then it is a big stop here, and we would never allow this. i do not know what is exactly inside them, so we cannot say what is the ground of the statement. i told you the scenarios and put everything into each category. >> your excellency, we need to go back to the reforms. you said syria after the reforms will be a model to be followed
in the region. what about the national media, especially after the freedom of the syrian media? >> i do not think there is a feeling -- ceiling. the ceiling is below that government and the institution. the ceiling is the objective media. we do not need tabloid within the syrian media. this is the feeling. we want the media to participate positively. that is why we issued and we've released the resolution of this decree about the media. we spoke about relations between the country and the citizens. we expand the relation and practically speaking the channel
should be open between the country and the citizens. the media is important and this. we need to fight corruption. we need to fight corruption, and we need to increase awareness of the citizens through the role of the media. and we have parties. we have the country. we have the original situation, and we have the media that has the public opinion. this is quite important because it is vital between the different components of the syrian society. the sound relation will help a lot in this time. we have witnessed a lot of obstacles, and the media here must be playing its vital important role. after the initial time, the media will be the channel of the tune of everything and everyone
in the government to have a dialogue with the citizens. >> an update on libya. nbc and other news organizations are reporting that rebels had taken control of the muammar gaddafi compound. meanwhile, in the state department briefing just a short while ago, they say there's no question that the muammar gaddafi regime is nearly collapsed. they also said the u.s. is working to release between 1,000,000,001.5 billion and frozen would be assets. they hope this can happen in the coming days. in that briefing from the state department available shortly on our c-span.org. we will keep you one other developments out of lead -- we will keep you posted on other developments out of libya. >> dr. martin luther king was not a president of the united states. at no time in his life did you hold public office. his body hero of foreign wars --
he is not a hero of foreign wars. he never had much money. while he lived he was reviled as least as much as he was celebrated. by is on account, he was a man frequently react without. a man not without flaws, a man who like moses before him more than once question why he had been chosen for so arduous attacks. -- arduous task. >> watch this entire event. the groundbreaking of the martin luther king jr. memorial at the c-span video library. now nearly five years later, the memorial will be dedicated in washington, d.c., this sunday live on c-span. during the week we will have coverage of other event surrounding the dedication on the c-span networks. >> what were video of the
candidates. see what political reporters are saying and track the latest campaign contributions was to spend website for campaign 2012. easy to use some help to navigate the political landscape with facebook updates from the campaign, canada fios, and the latest polling data and links to c-span media partners in the early primary and caucus states. all at c-span.org. all a >> with the rebels now in control and the u.s. prepared to begin to unfreeze assets of libya. we have a washington journal conversation of the updates in libya. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with our
guest, steve. we were speaking about this "usa today" article. some could be stepping aside in the coming days. what happens to the nato effort? guest: there is not a next step, because they are still trying to resolve the issue of the incumbent leadership, which is muammar gaddafi. there has been an unbelievable fiasco about the reports of his son been taken into custody and now released. it has created a lot of doubt in the first steps of the national transition council. i think there will be ongoing scrimmages of gaddafi loyalists. the big step is for nato, and france, britain, and the united states to offer assistance as needed but give the transitional council an opportunity to organize itself and take into
account the people of the revolution. we have just seen in the last few days a new contingent out of the mountains come down. everyone is saying the big change is what nato did. what really is the big change is a lot more libyan villages became part of the action. they have not been part of the political equation thus far. host: they may not have respect for this national transitional council. guest: there have been reports on both sides saying there is a loose reporting relationship with the command out of those mountains and with certain tribes. i do not think it has been negotiated yet. the action is going to be the question of -- some of your
earlier comment years were saying water, structure, basic functions of cities and villages. they have created a template where you have government council and various people appointed and responsible for these basic civil functions. it is replicated in town after town and village after village. i think that will be the fundamental first order. i think nato needs to realize there is an undercurrent of anti-western feeling inside of libya. it does not mean they are not think over what has happened. one of the techniques of gaddafi was to constantly blames the west in colonial powers, people trying to undermine the libyan state. it is important to put in arab face on what happens next. there is an opportunity for that. when you look at the press across france, britain, and the united states, it is somewhat
self indulgent about what we will do next, as opposed to what do the libyans might want to have and what would make the softest footprint that will not alienate and frustrate a lot of libyan citizens. host: tell us about of the head of this new transitional council? guest: you have many of these individuals, who were former officials of the gaddafi government. some are humanitarian activists. you also have various kinds of islamic leaders as well. it is a grab bag. at new sit down with those handling the international policy portfolio, they are very impressive. they have a great vision.
we do not know if they have the vision into the muscle. we underestimate the need for muscle in libya. my friend talks about their humanitarian credentials. i do hope they have -- on their side. there will be a competition for power in libya in the next steps. host: the head of the ntc had a press conference with the turkish prime minister. why is turkey important? guest: it is a country after the model with religious parties in a large as sectarian environment, where there is respect for minority participants in the government that many people look as the best hope for the model as to what libya should aspire to politically. the turkish foreign minister has
impeccable timing to swoop in at this great moment. he beat the french, british, americans for doing so. they gave him a $100 million allied grant and are releasing funds to the ntc. turkey has emerged as one of these fascinating strategic players in the world today, where you see many other stakeholders in the system chomping at the bit to play a bigger role. whether it is syria, libya, turkey has been a vital player on the national stage. i think it is a very positive thing not only for turkey but also for us. they are trying to send a message of inclusiveness, rule law and we are here to support you, not just the former colonial powers but partners around the world.
host: germany is calling on them to unfreeze the assets. guest: i understand germany was isolated within the european matrix. now it is rushing ahead to show that it wants to be a country of concern and a supporter. host: we will take your phone calls with steve clemens about what will happen next with libya. c -- clemons about what will happen next with libya. we are taking your phone calls, emails, and tweets. guest: it is messy. it is shocking. many had hoped that the gaddafi family would see the writing on the role -- wall and take off to
malta or somewhere. the problem with the international criminal court the places in which one can move to, perhaps russia or china, where you can seek refuge, are really diminishing. it shows the power of the criminal court. i do not know what will happen with muammar gaddafi. he is unpredictable, a dictator, who grew -- it is important as a strategist to look at the full measure of things. we were in the process with libya for some time of trying to normalize relations and the real reason of that was that libya was on a nuclear weapons a track. we offered a set of carrots to get libya to forgo and suspend
its nuclear research work. it is a good example of trying to use statecraft to make the world a safer. i think it is highly unlikely given what we have seen -- the downside of what we have seen is it will be hard for any other dictator in the future who decides to get on the nuclear weapons track to become their security protection from what we have seen. i know it is politically incorrect at this moment, there are downsides for one to consider. in north korea, when we took action, i think he said, he did not want to give up his weapons. this gives them another reason. host: 1 paper reports to the upside of this. here is what they say.
look at the benefits. young libyans may not join terrorist groups to act out their frustration and anger. guest: it is important not to be a contrarian. libya will not set the tone for most of the region. it is too small a player. it is a relatively rich country that has serious political problems. egypt is in a completely different league. one of the causes we have done in the big the strategy of obama's and not necessarily own and the outcome and did not allow a slippery slope where we
embrace the libyan conflict as our conflict, which was rather smart. in the end, -- i lost my train of thought. i do think that with what has happened in libya, it must be a libyan-directed outcome. we have to be careful about not overplaying our hand. host: what is the iran factor in all of this? guest: in terms of a regional competitor? host: with gaddafi gun and iran? guest: -- gaddafi gone and iran? guest: each of these countries, there is a battleground for the property between them. i do not think it is the primary driver of instability or insurgency in libya. we need to work -- worry about
the islamic fighting group. it is a terrorist islamic extremist group. host: are they part of the billion? guest: -- the billion? -- the rebellion? they had hoped all the participants would respect democratic norms and practices as the next government came in. one of the things that unifies this and went gaddafi was capturing and detaining these islamic fighters, they were departing to fight the british and americans. he would capture them at the
border. he would sometimes kill them but other times detain them. they are suspicious of western motives. host: we asked our viewers what is next in this transition of libya. some are calling on the administration to be part of a peacekeeping mission which would include boots on the ground. guest: i think boots on the ground would be a disaster. we need to be careful about not undoing what barack obama did very skillfully, which was to keep a western, allowing other leaders -- one of the interesting things to think about is when barack obama came
into office and we were faced with a global financial crisis, they manage a transition from the g7 to the g-20, and that allowed other countries to be a part of that. we have done the same thing with national security issues. the u.s. was always in the lead. they brought in other stakeholders. some just behind them who are not overly part but are key stakeholders. you have a kind of g-20-i zation. we have never seen this before. it would be a tragedy if we went to the next step of injecting forces into that mix, particularly ones from europe. it would reinforce this islamic
protectionism and you run the risk of having people like jibril and jalil and others as being huggers of the west and being anti-libya. we do not want to give them the ammunition to undermine the legitimacy people who wore democracy builders in libya. host: there is gunfire around a tripoli hotel. we will go to a republican in florida, ann. caller: good morning. how're you? let me turn my tv down. i like to ask you, our congress is on vacation right now. when they return, how do you
think politically this will go over with the congress that will be returning here in the u.s.? i have a comment. what do you think in regards to unfreezing the funds that have been commented on? how will the u.s. used those funds that will be unfrozen to help in the libya situation? do we have access to those funds? i hope there's a chance to share the list of the funds with you. guest: when congress returns, this is a town that will not miss an opportunity to have a fight about anything. i hope it is not partisan. their world -- there were some that were resisting. it will help tilt the odds in
libya. we help the population to escape what might have been a slaughter in been gauzy -- in been gauzy -- bengazzi. this is painful to hear. our collective expenses are about 1.1 $4 billion. in the scheme of things is a drop in the blood -- in the bucket that is small. wonka $1 billion in libya is not to be too facetious a deal. i think the cost is not an issue. on the question of funds, the funds of the libyan government's funds. the u.s. will not be able to use those funds at its own direction. it will unfreeze those funds and
they will do so. the timing has not been set. they are waiting for a resolution of the gaddafi situation. there will be available to the national transition council. host: we have a tweet. guest: that is an important point. there are few places we have seen the fall of a government like muammar gaddafi's in our history and seeing a vibrant democracy take hold. the cynicism is based by the tweeter. we have to give it a try. structurally what i fear it may from ais we're moving highly static, controlled regime
to a future that will be highly fluid. you are likely to see many shifts in changes in what comes next. one hopes you take steps towards democratic inclusion. it can slip into scenarios of competitive power -- competitive players to refuse to work together in a democratic context. i hope that the best practices and the council from the rest of the world and historical memory would lead us into a smoother transition. by sure the skepticism of the -- but i share the skepticism of the twiteeter. this is exactly the point. three of the top libyan islamic fighting group members, their sentences were commuted.
we were there that day. in that process, you would meet individuals. it was interesting to talk with them. they did not have anything against the united states or the west, just the united states or the west doing something in these countries. that makes me worried about the rush after gaddafi of western- breaded enterprises rushing in. unless -- it will look to many that we're trying to take advantage and to exploit the situation and it will trigger the same kind of feeling that iststo many jihad this \ / fighinting.
caller: i have two questions. the world war powers act. where does president obama get his authority to be in libya? only congress shall declare war. you mentioned something about $1 billion that it cost us. it doesn't matter what it costs us. in my opinion, it doesn't matter what it costs. it is an unconstitutional war and we have libyans fighting us in a iraq. we're sticking our noses where it do not belong. what is next? more broken promises. more breaking the constitution. america needs to wake up and vote ron paul. guest: thank you.
one of the interesting things about government is it is messy. our system is a system of checks and balances. this intervention in libya, the white house's argument is that they did go through notification procedures with the congress. many members of congress disagreed quite strongly. they went back and forth. you had nonbinding resolutions expressing disdain for what the white house did. this gave the factor permission to the white house to do it. it remains an unresolved question. i think there is some struggle between the legislative branch and the -- votes happened.
congress had an opportunity to defund this war. i recognize it is controversial. i think that is a fair read. host: nato is holding a press conference right now. this is by videoconference from naples. for more information, go to our web site, c-span.org. caller: hi. i want to take a not popular position. i'm against where we have been in libya. in terms of the united states at first been in charge of the bombing campaign. we let nato takeover.
i don't think we should do that because that is not in our national interest. what is next -- bahrain? what about yemen? guest: a big difference between bahrain and yemen and syria -- many people think we just decided or nicolas sarkozy of france decided to intervene in libya. it wasn't that easy. if there was no vote to take action, there would've been no u.n. sanctions and no actions by any of the western powers. it is nearly impossible to imagine a scenario where the arab league would take that kind of action against them. gaddafi has managed to make a lot of enemies. i guess that the caller raised an interesting issue about the
u.s. role and nato in leadership. there have not been nato missions in the past in which the united states was not in the lead. some of us work mocking the president -- some of us were mocking the president. that we would continue to provide unique capabilities which meant intelligence and systems integration and maybe some drones falling out of the skies. nato is u.s. leadership. i was in direct -- zurich. many were angry against the united states. they said there cannot be a nato mission without the u.s. in the lead. i hear what the caller is
saying. it is important that we did something we have never done before. we have helped trigger an action that we did not own all of the outcomes were the cards were not all stacked to deliver the outcome. we invited the stake holders to take the real lead and to be part of that coalition. not that the united states was calling all the shots on and to make it work. i'm still struggling with what this may mean. it is an important model that we have not seen before. it is interesting and we can give the president some credit. if president bush had done this, i would have given him some credit. one of my concerns early on about intervening in libya was that it is not a place of vital
u.s. national interest. there are regional dynamics. i believe the band width to make libya stable would steal from things like egypt. egypt is getting under attended right now. obama kept our costs extremely low and created an opportunity for libya. i hope the transition is able to availability to make this the full story. host: who makes up these rebel forces? guest: you have different islamic factions and you have an interesting generational issue. libya has a lot of youth and a lot of people.
what has happened and the aspirations of young people having a sense from what they see on their digital phones and smart phones and their computers is that there is a bigger world available to them. they did not have the same degree of fear that their parents and grandparents may have had from that regime. i'm excited about young people and how they -- the have to balance that against less liberal forces that exist and are powerful. different tribes. one of the interesting things about muammar gaddafi is that he was a brilliant balancer of tribal interests inside of libya. the next government will have to do that, too. caller: the people have spoken
and they want democracy, religion, and change. we need to help them by providing food and water and humanitarian aid and medical assistance. host: how does that work? guest: if they ask for those things, then i agree with the caller. the need experts in its utility provision and that kind of build out. we think of these countries going through this as being poor and developing. libya is not poor. iraq has oil. libya has oil, too. they will have the economic wherewithal to import this expertise. we need to let them do it on their own terms.
there is a gap, a lot fighting. we heard reports of the mines. the united states and europe will provide everything requested that libya needs, but then get libya off of that and have them be in control and have them paying for their own future. host: we have this tweet. guest: an interesting question. i would not say capitalism has failed as much as they have had some pickups -- hiccups. we don't talk about this in the united states. the united states showing military limits. this undermined america's
leadership and ability to counsel other governments on how to organize their economies. many are looking to china as a model. if you can get big investments develops but yet you can maintain -- that worries me. that is something we need to take seriously in our own country. not running away from a market capitalist model of inclusive democracy. the united states after the battles that the one in washington, make it look like -- we used to be king of the hill and the rest of the world says why is america kicking down its own heill? host: dan in detroit on the independent line. caller: hi.
in the great empire did not stay great when the halleys campaigns going on. support our troops. bring them home. -- any great empire did not stay great when there were campaigns going on. stop the drugs going into the country. when was the last time we won a great war? host: we have a tweet. guest: right. both callers raised an important point. there is distress inside the united states. president obama issued his national strategy report. that is available online to read. maybe half of that report is u.s.ed to getting to the
economy back on track. there is this tension that the apple corps at home is running inside. i do not think we get the benefit of choosing one verses the other. using the resources you have at hand and trying to shape the system in ways that are good for america's interest. i just returned from kabul. when you look at this engagement, the longest war in our history, you have to ask the question, is that war helping america becoming a trap of american power? that is an unresolved issue and not necessarily helping to defer america's ability to project power and influence. host: we have reaction from the press conference.
they will continue libya operations and will bomb gaddafi's forces if they keep fighting. guest: they have identified the bombing of libya and forces. one brigade was rushing from one area of green square and i think this falls under the u.n. mandate to protect civilians. i think there will be that level of intervention. not much they can do when it enters an urban area. i'm watching for for what happens to muammar gaddafi. i believe he is in the country. we would know because there would be quick defections. what muammar gaddafi is doing and the kind of various scenarios about what happens to him and his sons.
we see these young kids with guns. they are wild and excited and angry and frustrated and they are then king -- venting. we did not see a bloodbath in benghazi. tripoli.sover what countries might take gaddafi? guest: i don't not want to speculate. there are a number of african countries that are on the list. any one of the countries that might have to agree to bring him in. italy was trying to broker that deal. there were trying to negotiate an outcome. he would not do that. it puts anyone of those host countries under pressure about evading the international criminal court.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] gues>> constitutional scholars e stock in a debate about the future of the supreme court february 8 and lost angeles. they talked about the concept in at university of california law school new book the conservative assault on the constitution, the library foundation of los angeles hosted the discussion. >> good evening. good evening and welcome. i am can recoken breckerd. we're pleased to have you here. our friends and family are here for an extraordinary discussion. i just said to my colleague and a founder of our cultural program that there were people waiting in line that were already rehearsing their questions. [laughter]
this is a very good sign. research we a people would like to reassure them this evening. i would like to take one moment to remind you there is an opportunity coming up in march, the why would like all of you that our residents to participate in, which is a chance to vote for measure l on march 8, and this is opportunity that we have to restore the full service of the public library. as many of you know, it was cut back. without introducing any new taxes i am very happy to say it can be restored by voting yes on march 8. please turn out and do that. it would mean a great deal to all of us. i cannot imagine anything more in foreign at this moment than having our 73 free public libraries open to the public that needs them, wants them, it depends upon them. a quarter of the population does not own a computer. a large number who have computers have older computers
that do not have the bandwidth for their children to do their homework. it is impossible to correct rate from high school without being able to get access to a computer. we have for free waiting for those students almost 3000 computers. extraordinary programs all of it for free. as well as a free tutor. every student in los angeles with a library card can have a free tutor at the expense of the library foundation seven days a week from 3:00 in the afternoon until 10:00 at night. [applause] the program york is paying in is free to the public and there is nothing quite like it. this is the largest research
library in the west, central library. we would like to think one of the reasons you are here and that our guests are here this evening is because they value the importance of having a library like that in their community. much of that would not have happened without my colleague. without further review, the woman who has produced over 1000 free programs for for the citizens of los angeles, force the people. -- for the people. [applause] >> thank you. i hope you will vote yes on measure l. i am not counting, but he is. tonight, a discussion between two scholars of constitutional law about its place in modern american life. they disagree about essentially
everything. i have been assured they have never come to fisticuffs. the models of all dissertation. we do have a great moderator on hand. this will be in the form of a conversation. yes, please do turn off your soul phones. thank you for the reminder. -- turn off your cell phones. we will open for questions. not rants. something ending in a question mark. ask only one. that would be great. our first guest is the distinguished professor of law at uc-irvine and was inspired to go to school by the possible rights lawyers.
he has authored six books and more than 100 law review articles. in his book art, which reaccelerating tonight, will also be on sale after word that you would like to purchase this and he will be signing. he has argued several cases before the supreme court, and we're very honored to have him here tonight. we also have dr. john eastman, dean of from loaw, 2007 until february 2010 to pursue a bid to become attorney general. he joined chapman law and was appointed dean in 2007. it serves and a public-interest law firm associated with the claremont institute. in the role of moderator, and
jim newton, the editor at large of "the los angeles times." i am sure you know his wise boys. it has worked as a reporter, editor, bureau chief, and presently editor of the editorial pages. he is an author and he is the minister in a presidential biography of dwight d. eisenhower and we all hope it will be published this year. please try and me in welcoming our guests to the los angeles public library. -- please join me in welcoming our guests. m[applause] thank you. [applause] >> good evening. my name is jim newton.
welcome. it is a special tre to have my call panelists here. as noted, these are two eminent constitutional scholars to disagree about everything in the constitution care -- constitution. i would like to admit that i am not completely neutral. my biography is entitled justice for all. it is safe to say that if i were forced to write on justice scalia, i would not give it the same title. [laughter] that said, i will do my best not to gang up. >> i was looking at who was not applauding that line. no i have some allies in a row. -- in their room. >> one thing i admirabout both of these gentlemen is to disagree agreeably, and have as a " conversation ^ -- civil conversation.
erwin chemerinsky, give us a sense of what constitutes the conservative assault, and how was the difference then how what some would describe as the liberal assault on the constitution? >> it is an honor to be with these individuals. i know no one writes better than jim newton. john eastman is very much my role model in terms of the nadine, an activist, a scholar, and always an incrediy simple person. i believe since richard nixon ran for presidentn 1968, conservatives have sought to remake almt every area of constitutional law, and largely succeeded. when we focus tonight on individual libertiesor the rights of criminal defendants, where the separation of church and state, or specific areas like church and schools, you can see that the conservatives have
succeeded, and they are guided not by the original understanding of the constitution, but by the principles of the republican platform. i think you can far better understand what the conservatives are doing on the supreme court, by reading the republican platform than by reading the federalist papers. it is not the decision is conservative, the most part, and it is not that every decision dramatically changes the law, but overall, with what the supreme court has done, there has been a pre-crash in the basic constitutional principles. >> and john, tell my he is wrong. >> the language of the book takes as a background principle something that comes -- conservative constitutional scholars rejt, which is that we believe the constitution has meaning on its own.
for it to be an assault, they are objecting to some of the moves away from the text, making things up to make new constitutional law. we say it is an assault on what conservative jurists thi is the constitution put all meaning. he disagrees. before i give it back to them, thank you for being here, and to jim for having me, particularly because i would have trouble getting through the hole but if we have not had to do this. [laughter] >>t a bit on characteristic for erwin chemerinsky. normally, his writings are scholarly, and this one is much more political. i think we will talk about that during the course of the evening. >> can i say a couple of things? this bk is really a reflection of what i ve been doing for
the last 30 years. each of the chapters start with a story about is that i handled, except for the one that begins with the story of my father's death. in that sense, i would not use the word political, as it is my view of what has happened in constitutional law in human terms. every justice that has been on the supreme court follows the text of the constitution where it is clear. the problem is the questions that come to the supreme court cannot be answered by the text. the president has to be 35 years old. that issue has never been litigated. each state's two senators. that has never been litigated. there is a story that begins with a man named leal andrade.
he received a sentence under california's three strikes law, even though he had never committed a violent felony. the eighth amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. what is cruel and unusual punishment? the text cannot tell us that. he is a choice that has to be made. it is the supreme court that said for a century that grossly excessive sentences violate the constitution. the argument i made is that anything is grossly excessive is 50 years-to-life, for stealing $150 worth of video tapes. i lost that decision. as a result, andrati is not eligible for parole until the year 2047, when he will be 86 years old.
how can we get to the point where there is not unusual -- cruel and unusual punishment? >> that case is a good example of where i think the book is not entirely accurate. it is not accurate of the law, and on the facts. he says at one point in the book that the people that voted for three strikes -- there is no indication whatsoever that they had any indication that a nonviolent third strike could lead to the third strike penalty. that is just not true. it was in the ballot stage both by the analysis, and by the opponents that specifically said this will lead to incarceraon for a very long time by people whose third strike is not a violent felony or a serious felony. i was here. i remember the conversations petted the people then decided to do this, and it is not for stealing $150 wor of video tapes, but for having done that
after having a series of violent or serious felonies. the question is whether the people of the state gets to impose a sentence that tries to put repeat offenders with to be will prior felonies, serious or violent felonies, huawei -- with two prior felonies, serious or violent felonies, away. the question is whether the constitution prevents the people from doing that. we have had this notion that grossly disproportionate crime punishment violative the cruel and unusual punishment. the case he cites goes back to 1910. there, it was somebody that was actually sentenced to hard labor, painful and hard labor, with shackles 24 hours a day. the supreme court said that was an unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. subsequent cases have said the
is no proportionality requirement in the wake of the sentence itself. if while you are there, we will shaklee 24 hours a day, that all of a sudden is cruel, but just the length of the sentence was a legislative judgment. . had held that repeatedly and reaffirmed that in andrati. prior to the three strikes law, no one had received a sentence of life in prison where the last offense was shoplifting. in california, there are 47,000 people serving life sentences under the three strikes law. half the states in the country have three strikes law, and altogether they have 10,000 people. all those in california, 57% of the third strike was not serious or violent. when we talk about the specifics, we have put that
in that context. it is unique to california. john is wrong about one thing he says about the law. the supreme court had saithere is no requirement to the proportionality of the crime. justices thomas and scalia have taken that position, but the supreme court has never said that. the supreme court said it was cruel and unusual punishment to give a person of life without parole for passing a bad check worth $100. the facts from my case were remarkably identical. my point here is that the supreme court h to make a choice for the text does not tell us. the framework did not discuss the three strikes law. there has to be a choice made. there is no meaning of the constitution to be discovered. in the choice that was made by
these conservative justices, elected. -- every area of constitutional law, is imposing cuts attrition -- conservative values. in area after area, they have made constitutional law. >> one of the notions as widely debated on the court today is the question of original ism, and whether it is a useful or valid tool for useful interpretation appeared what is your view? >> i think it is not perfect, but it is the best we have. without it, we are left with a court deciding what they think ought to be the law, rather than what it is. hit transfers power from the electorate, we, the people, to the unelected branch of politics of years ago i published a piece one of the harvard law journal's, going through the various different theories tha might give court's authority to strike down
pronouncements and acts of legislature that are most directly representative of the people. it is not because it violates the text of the constitution. the one theory we have largely rejected his that there is a natural higher law that binds. we have reject that notion as the basis. another theory is that the judges are smarter than the rest of us, or maybe institutionally they have the ability, because their job gives them the time to think throughhese problems. if that is essentially creating a federal common law that we rejected. every one of the different alternatives that you come up with ends up where the judges are substituting their judgment for the acts of the majority because they think it is better policy. when you deviate from the text of the constitution, what confines the judges from getting that right or getting that wrong? why should they have the final y, rather than the people as
the ultimate sovereign? >> if there is a counter- majoritarian view that we need the courts to stop majority tyranny, and i am all in favor of that. every time we expand certain rights, as if we were to say that the people of california could not impose that sentence on him, we are necessarily contracting e rights of the property owners whose rights he violated by robbing and committing burglaries. to take that policy judgment away from the people and hand them to win an elected judiciary is the great problem with the so-called living constitution. >> respond, and as you do, tell us if originalism is not a valid tool, does that leave judges the authority to do anything at all? >> sure. several points about originalism.
first of the conservatives follow it only one answer is ideological agenda. let me give you an example. i am skeptical that we can ever know what the framework is. his there is any place that we can, it is that the framers of the 14th amendment very much approved what we would call affirmative-action debate. so many things they adopted or race-conscious policies, yet justices scalia and thomas paine no attention in their condemning of affirmative action. last year, a decision held that corporations have the right to spend limitless amounts in the campaigns. the five conservatives on the court did this. i challenge anyone to find anything in the original understanding that protected corp. free speech rights, let alone the right to spend unlimited amounts of money.
secondly, in most instances, we will not be able to know what the original intention was apparent that we takthe second amendment. it takes a well-regulated militia, and people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. you might focus on the first, o e second. it is really about a right for militias. you look for understanding. james madison drafted the second amendment. his first draft included an exemption from malicious service from conscientious -- mitia service from conscientious obctors. there are strong arguments on the other side. is it surprising that the conservatives who favor gun rights find the understanding to beat for gu rights, and the liberals that do not, find it for militias?
i can related personal example, and it is where i got to work with jim. i was the chair of the elected los angeles charter reform commission. it creates the entities of the city government than divides power among the branches and includes individual rights. almost as soon as it was adopted, questions came up about interpretation, things we thought about. the mayor's office, the city attorney's office called me, they still do, saying, "what is the intent of yourommission on this?" if they agree, they say, "will you write a declaration that says that," and if they disagree, they keep going to another commissioner until they get the position -- [laughr] if we really followed the original intent -- constitution was written in the late 18th century.
article two of the constitution puts the president and vice president with the pronoun "he." there is no doubt that the understanding of the constitution was that the president and vice president would be men. that means that it is unconstitutional for the president to be a woman unless we amend the constitution. the 14th amendment is only about states cannot deny equal protection. if we follow the original understanding, then the federal government is not limited by the requirement of equal protection. the bill of rights, the most the fundamental rights w have come only applied to the federal government not go now to answer your question -- only apply to the federal government. it now to add to your question. they start with the tax and they canceled the original understanding, they look at --
the look at that -- they start with the tax and consulting the original understanding. you cannot reason for promises deductive lead to answers -- conservative cases like citizens united or liberal ones like roe v. wade. the power of the courts to review the constitutionality of the statutes of executive action is nowhere mentioned in the text of the constitution. it was not explicitly discussed at the constitutional convention. it comes from montgomery vs. madison in 18 03. -- marbury v. madison in 1803. >> i take a different view. [laughter] let me start with the last one, because i don't think it is accurate.
the discussion of the judicial review is part of the constitional convention. there is an entire debate about whether to give the courts the power to strike at legislation they disagreed with on policy grounds at. during the course of that debate, which they rejected his power of revision in the courts, it was discussed that they would obviously be able to strike it down as unconstitional. the question on the revision discussion was whether they would also have the power to act as legislators if they disagree on the policy. the convention is physically denied that power to the court per out when we move away from the constitutional text and give them a policy judgment that we think this is better for society, not because it violates a provision of the constitution but because it is bad policy, they are doing the very thing that the constitutional convention denied to them. it transfers power from an elected body to an unelected body in derogation of our most
basic principles of democratic government. are there any goodies about what a particular text meant? yes -- ambiguities about what a particular text meant? yes. but to say it does not matter whether it's this or not, this is what the law ought to be and as a judge i am going to impose it, that is no longer a legitimate role for the court's. >> does anyone do that? that seems like a bit of a straw man. >> ty do, i will give you a bad example. in planned parenthood -- i will give you a good example. in planned parenthood v. casey -- it is difficult to find in the original roeny tie to the text. you get to anned parenthood v. caseynd we end up with a
statement, the three-judge opinion there, that says even if roe was wrongly decided and illegitimate as a matter of constitutional law, the absence of our constitutional system of government is the power given to the courts, not the elected branches. that is an astounding rejection of the basic premise of our constitution, and yet it is right there blatant in planned parenthood v. casey. roe is the most extraordinary assertion of raw power ever asserted by the court. >> it is my turn to say i disagree. [laughter] john has said that when courts strike down at laws, they are being at by tartarian -- and majoritarian. enforcing the document is by definition anti-majoritarian.
conservatives and liberals want to be anti-majoritarian, they just disagree wher the conservatives will strike down a federal and state and local laws regulating guns. the conservatives are willing to strike on affirmative action programs. all that is anti-majoritarian. it is just that they are following conservative and use. centcom i will disagree with john -- second, i will disagree with john -- no judge or justice considers himself a policy maker. every judge or justice interprets the text of the constitution using all of the sources i mentioned, starting with the original understanding, precedent, tradition, the social needs. there is a way to say that the constitution requires the judges make policy choices. the fourth amendment provides an unreasonable searches and seizures. every day -- in gramick preven
-- prevents unreasonable searches and seizures. every day in " around the country, jges have to decide what is reasonable and unreasonable. they are making a policy choice. when the suit in court deals with individual liberties or discrimination, there is no absolute right or prohibition, but there is of the fundamental right, discrimination against racial minority -- the court has to decide is that there is a compelling governmental interest. is there an important government interest? what is compelling, important -- that is a policy choice the court has to make. i disagree with having john said with regard abortion and casey. i think roe wade was a well reasoned. the supreme court has said that there is a right to privacy protected in the constitution read the court found in many instances prior the right to
marry, appropriate, custody of one's children, -- procreate, custody of one's children, the use of contraceptives. in light of all of the prior decisions, this prohibition of abortion infringe the right to privacy? i think the court said yes in light of those preside -- precedents. does the state have a compelling interest in protective -- protect of fetal life? the choice should be left to each woman. that is what roe v. wade is all about. i tnk the most eloquent was justice robert jackson in the west virginia board of education v. barnett, where the state cannot require students to salute the flag. he said the whole purpose of individual rights of the
constitution is to take the most precious liberties and out of the vicissitudes of popular, majoritarian will. that is all casey was saying, roe v. wade takes the issue of abortion prior to viability of the fetus outside of the constitutional majority, because it is deemed to be right. >> erwin says in his book more clearly than any scholar i have seen that the key question with regard to abortion context -- "who should determine whether the fetus before viability is a human person, each woman for herself or the state legislature?" i think that is the rub of the question. if you accept the premise that we get to define away prison guard, who qualifies as a person and who does not, -- define away
personhood, who qualifies as a person and it does not come at you are making the same argument about slaves that the south made. a legislative judgment, not what the courts to decide for us, reminds us of libbin's at inaugural address, and if we take the court as the last word on basic questions of how we define ourselves as a people, we will cease at that extend to be a democratic form of government and hand over those basic policy judgments to the unelected branch. when it is not tied to any texter whatsoever in the constitution, as that case was not, you are asking judges to make it is a policy judgment for this society. it is just not true that there is not a consensus about when a unique life is created. modern science has proven that time and time again. we all know we have a dna at the moment of conception. the question is whether it is
human life is subject to protection under the constitution. the constitution is simply does not answer that question. to pretend that it does is the height of judicial activism, contrary to any our original understanding any text. they cannot find which clause is in but we don't know if it is in the first amendment or fourth amendment or the 19th. it is from the penumbras of all of them collectively together. if i cannot even point to the right and and and, at the notion that it is rooted in constitutionalism rather than the judge disagreeing with the policy judgments made by the people, i think is a weak argument. >> do you accepted the constitutional right to privacy aside from abortion? >> i do, i also accepted the right to liberty, but it does not extend it to swigging that i go through his nose rather than
stopping scheider at. > -- stopping shy of it. i was given the different routes on which a court and strike down an active majority even if it was n part of the text of the constitution, i laid out the proposition that thereas a natural law, natal right. both sides of the abortion debate make appeals to the higher law authority that is not grounded in the text. you can easily spin a roe v. wade argument going in the other direction with the same kind of reasoning, except that the unborn child, a fetus from the moment o conception, is unique in its dna, therefore it is a person protected under the constitution and any laws that allow for abortion would be a violation of that person's constitutional rights. you can easily spin out an argument that is no more credit in the constitution's text than the actual holding of roe was,
and what that means is that you have two different arguments about hire a political authority. we have had the site throughout our constitutional history. in the 17 nineties, in a famous case, the court fight over whether if we recognize that there is a natural law or natural rights not grounded in the text of the constitution, should we enforce it, what gives the courts the right to enforce its? the disagreement between the justices parallels the one right now. justices scalia -- right now between justices scalia and thomas on the question. it is interesting to line up there, that one of the ways we understand the nine men met is that it is codifying the higher at w principle -- codifying the higher law principle. it is unlike the and more
diversions we have now brought -- the unmoored versions we have right now. >> he says is that the right to privacy and under the ninth amendment is that we prefer the liberty of the process clause of the 14th amendment lon recognized by this court. the supreme court was interpreted the word liberty as safeguarding many rights that are not enumerated in the text, and night would give a long list of those. this goes back to early in the 20 that century. what the court says in roe, like so many other cases, is that the body includes a right to privacy. if you accept that, and to laws that prohibit abortion in french a woman's right to privacy? -- infringe a woman's right to privacy? the court in justice black's opinion talked-about burdens of
on one of pregnancy, that it is ngement of the right to privacy. the court is making what john calls the policy choice. it is unavoidable. i think what the court said is completely right, that scientists, theologians, ethicists cannot answer the question of when human personhood it begins. there is a profounburden on a woman to keep a fetus in her body against her will, we should leave it to each woman to make about my ability. i think it is misleading to compare it woman's choice about abortion to whether slaves are entitled to protection under the constitution. [applause] >> let me go back to that.
the statement in your book is that it should be up to a woman to determine whether a fetus is a human being knocked out the old slave owners argued that it should be up to them to determine whether their slaves were human beings are property. i think the argument is directly powerball - -- parallel -- [applause] >> let me ask a more political question. there have been two changes on the court since president obama took office, sonia sotomayor and elena kagan, a moderately liberal justices. the partisan balance has shifted somewhat, obviously. what does it bode for the court going forward? how significant is the 2012 election for imagining the composition of the court going forward? you want to go first, erwin? >> i think the 2004 election was
crucial in determining the ideological direction of the court for a long time to come to my guess is that john and i will agree. >> but that on your calendar. [laughter] >> had al gore won the presidency -- al gore did would the presidency -- [laughter] [applause] the ideological balance of the court would be totally different today. george bush got to replace saturday o'connor with john roberts and samuel alito. i think the sonia sotomayor will be as liberal as any justice on the court. i don't think we know enough about elena kagan's philosophy to know where she will be on the ideological continuum. we know less about her ideology that any nominee to the supreme court since sandra day o'connor
in 11. every appointee had been a federal court of appeals judge for some time ana judge for a long time. kagan had never been a judge on any court before going to the supreme court. that is not disqualifying. many judges brothroughout history had ever been a judge on any court -- brandeis, warren, rehnquist -- but the fact that she had never been a judge means that we don't have access to her prior opinions in judicial philosophy great shot dead five major law review articles, and none of them -- she authored five major law review articles, and none of them said anything but to delet -- none of them said anything particularly controversial. as a result, i don't think we can know where she will be on the ideological continuum. to answer you
>> you can watch all this program on line at c-span.org. aware, anprobably earthquake has hit the east coast. with 5.8 magnitude according to the associated press northwest of richmond straight game -- shaking much of d.c. all up the eastern coast. the u.s.g.s. was 0.5 miles deep felt as far north as chapel hill, parts of the pentagon, and plenty including ours. we will continue with programming. they have evacuated all of the national monuments and memorials in the washington area following the earthquake in. again, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake.
if you want more scheduling information and other events, we were reporting earlier on our website, c-span.org. we continue here with the congressional black caucus. last week, they held a meeting focusing on job creation and improving the economy. it was part of the cbc's "for the people" job initiative. the speakers at this event include jon lewis and donna christensen. from the atlantic technical college, this is one hour, 50 minutes. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> this is an exciting day for us. i want to thank the congressional black college for sharing this event with atlanta attack college. i am pleased they decided to bring this type of event to an atlanta particularly in light of the unemployment with the numbers that came out just today about unemployment. all was not lost and all is not demand gloom because we have a lot of employers here today waiting to hire people and we have atlanta technical college. it is my pleasure to introduce the moderators for this evening,
joann r. reed and jeff johnson. she is a columnist for "the miami herald" newspaper. he is chief correspondent for creole.com. join me in welcoming them. [applause] >> thank you so much and good evening. [applause] one more time, good evening. >> [audience repeat] good evening. >> we want to make sure this is a discussion and a lively one, one full of family and concern and full of honest questions. with that, i want to be sure the energy level is up a little bit. one more time, good evening.
>> good evening. >> that is fantastic. it is a pleasure for me to be one of your moderators' this evening. joanne read, who is directly behind me, will be rotating back and forth to this podium. she is an amazing journalist and i am happy to say, one of my bosses. this is the continuation of what has been a long day of what has been a substantive to work. this tour has been to cleveland, ohio already, we saw over 6000 people come to a job fair. and in detroit michigan we saw a similar numbers. the over 200 companies in cleveland and 70 companies in detroit joined together to make sure that jobs were available. we are very encouraged by those
who were in line as early as 6:00 a.m. to begin tuesday, i believe i can get a job. -- to begin to say, i believe i can get a job. and i heard from two young women in particular who said this was the most productive job fair that they have been to in a year and two years since they have been unemployed. and both of them walked out with appointments to start work as early as next week. [applause] this was not just an opportunity to get first or second interviews. there were people who walked out today with jobs. i think that is meaningful. what i am pleased about as a journalist is, when you are able to think positively about an event not because you are positive, but because it is true. i think the black caucus should be commended even at a time when
corporations will write checks for anything, it just to have you say something good about them, but they have been actually showing out with jobs -- showing up with jobs. while not everyone may walk with a job, with no jobs are available. it is going to be our job to introduce you to this panel and move through this discussion. i would like to present the panel. many of you know who they are. some of you have been introduced for the first time. i will just start at the immediate roving left to a congressman that many of you know, congressman hank johnson. [applause] it is all right to applaud. to someone that i think, really needs no introduction anywhere in the world.
he is truly one of the stalwarts of not only the congressional black congress, but of the congress neare. he truly understands what servitude is. please welcome congressman john lewis. to his immediate left, sanford agip. to his immediate left, if you did not know who she was, if you watched the news today, you clearly knew who she was. please about a round of applause for congresswoman maxine waters. to her immediate left, congressman al green. to his immediate left, the vice chair of the congressional black caucus, congresswoman dandala christiansen -- donna
christensen. to her left, congressman cedric richmond. and to his left, congresswoman laura richardson. as we begin to bring our first presenter, i think is important to mention that you have a panel full of elected officials who could easily be in their own districts or be on vacation. i think it says a great deal that many of these representatives have, not to their own districts, but have been in districts that are not their own to create a level of solidarity on this caucus, to talk to people in different communities about how to create jobs, and even more importantly, the message they need to take back to washington from individuals like yourselves on what the mandate is from the people. it is my pleasure at this point to bring initial greeting from
congressman hank johnson. [applause] >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. welcome here today. it has been a long day. for those of you that have been 6ere all day, i want to say, stay the course. we have been here to -- i want to say, stay the course. we are here to answer your questions. we have been here with you today. we are all in this together. we at the congressional black caucus are pledged to leave washington d.c. and come out into the areas that we represent, and since everyone is job hunting, we want to make those jobs available to you. that is what today was all about. i do not know what the headlines will be, whether the cbc and the
president are at odds, or the cbc against the cfc members. or, 20 people got sick today, or a prospective employer was overwhelmed by the outcome, or whatever. i do not know what the store will be. but what the truth is, that we had about 5000 or 6000 people come out today, many of whom stood in line for several hours -- [applause] and you know what, each and every one of them were here for
a job. and it was not the recession -- excuse me. it was not the debt ceiling that they were concerned about. it was not the deficit that was on their minds. it was the american dream, feeding their family, being a homeowner, having a job, having a car to get to work. they want to live that american dream and we owe it to them. we have worked hard. but the jobs flew out from under them going overseas. we have got to make a difference. we have got to change that. and that is why we all should work together and not be swayed by those headlines that are going to slice and dice and give you half the truth in a slanted stories. the real story is that people
out here need help. they do not need tax breaks. they do not need a tax credit. they are not on wall street. if they are on main street. you are here today to ask some questions. i am just so happy, and i want to acknowledge my colleagues from the congressional black caucus. there are 42 of us. and we have eight of us sitting right here with you today, from as far away as california all the way to the virgin islands. they care about you. i want to thank you all for coming. i have enjoyed working with congressman lewis to make this event possible. without any further ado, i want to bring forward one of my friends and colleagues -- we
work together on the local level. that is where the action is, really, ladies and gentlemen. federal governments should be assisting state and local governments as they try to avoid layoffs. i want to introduce to you, my friend, fellow attorney and ceo, mr. bert lewis. [applause] come up here if you will. >> greetings, everyone. i want to thank my friend and colleague, congressman hank johnson. and thank you congressman lewis and congressman bishop. and also, thank you for your service to georgia.
thank you in the black caucus for your service not only to your local districts, but for your work for the united states and hard work that you are taking on. thank you for being here in georgia tonight. the key to economic recovery, i think we all know, lies in their creation of jobs. we have got to get americans back to work. we have got to get america working if we're going to seriously say we are beyond this recession. in cabot county we have 7000 employees and a budget of $1.6 million -- $1.6 billion and i know a little bit about public policy. we cannot create a good public policy by cutting and slashing the budget. we have to stimulate by creating jobs. we have a multidimensional approach to doing that.
in katia county, because we passed a water and sewer capital improvement program and we are going to be pumping $1.3 billion into capital improvements to upgrade our water system over the next eight years -- and we had to do that by raising rates, but the silver lining is that we are going to create thousands of jobs in the process. local jobs with incentives to hire local residents, and minority and minority-owned businesses and put back -- people back to work. that is going to be our local job stimulus program in the county. we could not have got there just by cutting spending. it would cut 20% -- we cut 20% of our budget in the last few
years. but we also adjusted our taxes. we raised taxes. we raised our water and sewer rates because we have to pump money back into the economy. government cannot do it alone. we have to institute smart public policy so that we can stimulate growth, get the private sector involved, and get them to be the major employers and get our people hired and back to work. that is what is all about. that is what this discussion today is partly going to center on, creating smart public policy so we can put americans back to work. i want to thank you all for being here. i want to thank you for your participation. members of cbc, i want to thank you for your service to our nation. thank you for being in georgia. thank you for putting americans back to work, for putting georgians back to work, and putting atlantans back to work.
god bless you all. [applause] >> i'm going to say good evening -- oh, you see, i got the same. i thought it was you, jeff. let's try that again, good evening. >> good evening. >> i want to thank jeff for the great job that he does at the grio and on msnbc. thank you all for coming. i think civic engagement is the most important thing that people can do after actually voting and showing up. it is critical. i am proud of you for being here tonight. i think you deserve a round of applause for being here. you have stayed over past the job fair to do your part of our talking to the government. i want to remind ever when that we are taking questions from the audience. it is very important that you stay engaged by actually asking
questions of our members. the people that are waiving, they have cards and pencils, so you can contribute your questions and some have already done. now we can get into the heart of the matter. i want to introduce to you your congressman for this district, the hon. john lewis, who will make some opening remarks. [applause] >> thank you very much, joann. jeff, thank you very much. thanks, the two of you, for being here. let's give ththem one more hand. [applause] i want to thank the president of this wonderful institution, dr. thomas. for making the facilities available. we really appreciate it, and are more than grateful to you and
your staff. thank you so much. [applause] we realize that we have sort of occupied your space today, and you did not kick us out. we want to say thank you. i want to thank each of you for being here, for being so patient. and i have to tell you, you stood in long, and moving lines. to send the strongest possible message that people want to work. that we want jobs, full employment for all of our citizens. and i tell you, the members that you will see sitting here, members of the congressional black caucus, we will not be happy, we will not be satisfied, we will not be at peace until we
have jobs for all of our citizens. it does not matter whether they are black or white, latino or asian american or native american, we all deserve to have a job. [applause] and i want to speak for my fellow -- i do not want to speak for my fellow caucus members, but i do want to say this, i am convinced when we go back to washington next month, the people meeting in cleveland, detroit, here in atlanta, and in miami and los angeles, we will have a message for the congress and for the president of the united states of america, that people want to work, to create jobs. we will get it done. [applause]
i want to recognize one of these wonderful city elected officials, and a dear friend of mine, the president of the event the city council, the hon. cesar mitchell. caesar, will you come up here for a moment, sir? [applause] >> good evening. it is a pleasure to see all of you here today. it is also very heartening to have the members of the congressional black caucus, congressional leaders here spending time with us, dialoguing about what it means to put americans back to work. i want to give a special thanks
to congressman lewis. it is a little known fact that i got my start in public service in his office in college at more house. it was as a volunteer in turn. in his office, i've learned about the importance of the political process. your presence here today _ your understanding of how important is to get involved and engaged in the political process. congressmen and congresswomen, i do appreciate you being here today. you could be at home in your district, talking with your voters, where you actually get the most bang for your buck. but you come on the road and you dialogue here in georgia to help give us answers, to help us develop a partnership and help develop the ways in which we will engage in putting americans back to work, and it certainly those in atlanta, and georgians
back to work. on behalf of myself and the city council and behalf of the citizens to call this tom, we thank you for being here. know that you have a friend in the city of atlanta. thank you, again. [applause] >> again, i want to thank all those colleagues for being here. and i want to take a moment to recognize just one more of the local officials for a moment, stage representative -- state representative ralph long iv. [applause]
>> thank you, congressman lewis and cbc members. for all of you out there, welcome to state house district 61. and most important, i have to thank the president of the college, dr. thomas, because he is always a generous to me and what ever ambitious a town hall i want to throw here. ony're doing great things his campus, atlanta technical college. we have some great offices in district 61. we have good schools and institutions that we can get our act together in. i want to tell you, thank you for getting out and getting involved in politics. we are here to serve you, not the other way around. i give out my cellphone number all the time. be my friend on facebook.
coming to the for al district. i appreciate you guys. thank you, congressman lewis. i appreciate you. [applause] >> thank you very much. and now without further ado, we want to introduce the vice chair of the congressional black caucus, the hon. donna christensen, who represents the united states virgin islands. give her a round of applause, please. [applause] >> thank you, joanne. good evening, everyone. i bring greetings on behalf of our chair, emmanuel cleaver and, who could not be here this evening. we have called this the jobs initiative for the people. we thank everyone of you that came out today. not only do we thank you from the cbc, but we thank you from
all of the people across this country because today, you have sent a powerful message to washington, to wall street, and to corporations across this country. far more effectively than we ever could come on a matter how hard we try. if we stay on the floor of the house every day, all day. and you have sent it on behalf of not only yourselves here in atlanta, but on behalf of all those across this country who are unemployed and are hurting and want and need decent jobs. yourself a round of applause. [applause] 90% and higher and african american chronic unemployment have always been cnbc's highest priorities. we have introduced over 40 pieces of legislation talking about the need for jobs and calling on republican leadership to bring legislation to the
floor and get it passed. with no legislation in sight, aristide chair, emanuel cleaver , and the -- our esteemed chair, emanuel cleaver, and he is deemed to chair that you will hear from later, made a decision to get out to atlanta and other parts of the country to reach out with jobs and come to some of the places that are the hardest hit. i want to say a little bit about health care before i leave. we wish we could go into every community, but we hope this will be an example and other people will take it up and it will catch on. and we need everybody in our country to be working. health care is the eighth largest employer. if we combine health care overall, i'm sure it is close to #one. we are particularly pleased to be here at atlanta technical
college, where they are training people for that expanded workforce. this is one area where there has continued to be hiring throughout the recession. but we can only continue to create jobs if we protect medicaid and medicare. that is in your hand, my friends. as you can see come elections matter -- as you can see, elections matter. medicare and medicaid are job creators and we need to help protect them. thank you for staying. we know it has been a long day for many of you. i want to thank dr. thomas, the president of this institution, all of her administration and staff that have made this such a good productive day. let's give them a round of
applause as well. [applause] i want to thank our esteemed host, the great civil rights leader who continues to be a drum major for justice and peace, the great john lewis. you have one of the hardest working members who represent his district tirelessly and effectively. we're glad to be here with you and we look forward to your questions and comments. i would like to turn this back over to our moderator's. [applause] bytes this is in the way of the cameras. so we want to move this as we go to our first question. poses to congressman lewis, congressman lewis, i was
taught very early in my career to always acknowledge my elders -- [laughter] but no, i would like to go to you first because i think this is about atlanta in particular. we have seen numbers in the last day where the unemployment rate for the city of a plant has gone up, and while it is slightly, it still has gone up. we begin to look at the sectors of the economy that have the best potential for job growth in the city of atlanta. what are those areas? and what are ways that those of the federal level as well as the local level can begin to push for a better environment for those industries? >> donna christensen mention the area of health care. in atlanta, you have grady, you have emery.
you have more house med school. you have a whole range of health facilities in the metropolitan area. i think it is one of the fastest growing industries. the atlanta airport is the largest commercial airport in the world. delta airlines is based here. coca-cola is based here. georgia-pacific, cnn, just to mention a few. and i know i left out some very visible ones. and we should be doing better. we have a long history of financial institutions. the banks should be doing more, much more. if we we bailed them out -- we bailed them out, we saved them.
now is time for them to help out the people of metro atlanta and those who live in the state of georgia. we have all of the education institutions. georgia state, one of the fastest-growing urban universities -- but i leave at any? did i get them all? i know this school here, atlanta tech, metropolitan college -- there are a lot of educational institutions here. part of the problem, jeff -- i will not say is a problem, but people think atlanta is a mecca. when i travel around america and around the world, everybody
wants to come to atlanta. they say, atlanta, you may be living in europe or from washington or from california. there are moving from new york, from philadelphia, from detroit. they are all moving back to the south. years ago we have a chicken bone special, where people were leaving the south going north. now we have people coming home back to georgia and other parts of the south. we must create jobs. >> thank you very much, congressman lewis. i want to direct my first question -- because i think i have lived in florida too long and we like to go right to the controversy and stuff where i
live -- controversial stuff where i live. congressman maxine waters, you may just a little bit of news in detroit and saying you would like to ask african-americans who loved the president and voted for the president to unleash the congressional black caucus to have a conversation with barack obama about jobs. i would like to know, what would that conversation entailed? >> first of all, let me just say that we are here in atlanta to support our colleagues john lewis and congressman johnson for the efforts that they have put forth to bring this job fair to the city. when we first talked about and decided in the congressional black caucus that we were going to get out of washington d.c., that we reported to hit the ground, that we were going to go in our districts and not only
share with the people that we can feel their pain, but we were going to do some the about it. we are policy makers and we introduced bills. but we decided to -- but we want to ask those companies that are asking us for the tax breaks, if you bring new jobs. that is why we are here. i have been to cleveland and detroit. i am here in atlanta appeared and i am going to miami and, of course, i will host a jobs fair. we feel good about in we feel in
spite of the economy that is not performing the we have to do everything to bring opportunities were there are people hurting. not only is the unemployment rate unconscionably high, but we have been impacted by the foreclosures on homes and cannot get loan modifications and we have lost wealth. now there is a 20% gap between white wealth and black wealth. white wealth is around 13,000 and black wealth -- i have come to some conclusions, and it is a difficult one. we have reached a point that may be a defining political moment for all of us. this moment in history may be a challenge to our political maturity. i believe the time has arrived
when we must eliminate any fear and discomfort we may have about raising difficult questions and creating challenge, even when we feel an obligation to protect the first african-american president of the united states of america. [applause] make no mistake about it, i support president barack obama. i would like to see the president reelected. [applause] however, my need to support the president does not trump might need to be a responsible united states representative. i must not, and the caucus must not, supplant the needs of our community in the interest of satisfying our emotional needs to support anybody. [applause]
our responsibility must always be the exercise of our influence and our power for the benefit of the people. the facts are indisputable. unemployment in the african- american community is a beneficial 16%, the highest in the nation, the highest since the great depression. and that does not rely calculate those who have been out of the employment market for over a year or more. in many communities is 35 to 40% -- 35% to 40%. let me just share with you that this discussion about whether or not you raise the question and you crave a challenge that you are being disloyal, it is not. the time has come for us to be
politically mature enough to have great comfort in the fact that we can do this challenge if we have to. we cannot do this work in silence. we cannot represent you in silence. as a matter of fact, the reason the tea party is so strong is because they stepped up, they talked of, and they worked it. they are not nearly in the numbers that we are. but look at the influence that they have been able to yield in this country. they have been forced the decision of the bill -- they have been forced the decision of the bill that literally decided whether or not we increase the debt ceiling. and we have had to suffer of these budget cuts. if we are silent, we cannot protect the people. if we are silent, we cannot protect the president. if we do not speak up, if we do not show up, and do everything that we can possibly do, our communities will be worse off.
our children will graduate from college and not have any jobs. we will not be able to get the mortgages. we will not be able to create the wealth. we will not be able to force these banks who took our bailout, who are not giving money to our businesses to create businesses and expand businesses and opportunity -- we will not be able to do any of that. ladies and gentlemen, i want you to feel comfortable. i do not want you to be embarrassed. i do not want you to sit back in your seat and say, whoa, if we are questioning the president that we are doing something bad. no, it is honorable to step up to the plate. it is honorable to do what needs to be done. [applause] and understand this, we can do both and do not let anybody tell you that you cannot. did that answer your question? [applause] >> yes, but i think there is more there. i think that was a brilliant
introduction. but i think the president's announcement the morning prior to the detroit information breaking news was the fact that he was going to be making an announcement about jobs in september. what opportunity does that give the congressional black caucus to not just silently and say, what are you talking about, all you are doing is complain about the president. what does that look like? and how does the caucus take advantage of it? >> there has been a lot of talk about reading and infrastructure bank. and when we when wewpa we are talking -- when we talk about wpa we are talking about public works, bridges and streets and water systems. i believe the president will have that in his package. we support that. we have been saying for a long
time, and included in legislation one of the many pieces introduced by this black caucus that we want infrastructure jobs because jobs, of course, will help to strengthen this economy. people spend money when they have jobs. too much talk about green jobs. where are they? we have not put the money into the training. we have not helped to support the investment in the factories that will produce the solar panels and other alternatives to the energy system that we have. i and others are focused on bringing the jobs offshore that have been set off shore to third world markets for cheap labor -- you call bank of america, the loan litigation department, you are talking to somebody in india. we want those jobs in those call centers and all of those jobs that have been exported back
home. [applause] we want to make it too expensive for american businesses to keep exporting these jobs. there has to be a consequence. and the president has to have a tax holiday. he has got to do something to incentivize the businesses to say, if you get jobs, you get tax breaks. that is all right with me. but i will never, ever again -- and i do not think the black caucus will -- make the mistake as we did in the bailout where we bailed out america's major institutions with no strings attached. we did not get anything for it. now they are courting the money. again, we want them to -- now they are hoarding the money. again, when to put it into small business. let's tie the incentives to real jobs. we want jobs to be a part of the package. we intend to put the face of
everything that we have seen on that legislation. there were 7000, 8000 people out here today. the same thing in detroit and cleveland. no one can say that they do not know, they do not understand. we have put a face on this as we traveled around this country. now that we have done that, we have to be part of the solution. we have to be consulted, and if we are not, we will give it to him anyway. we have to. [applause] >> i want to direct the next question to congressman laura -- congresswoman laura richardson. you serve on the transportation and infrastructure committee. i have a question from the audience about how congress can of jobs comethose types into the community. to what steps can be made in the house of representatives to crated bill that will actually
pass to make what congress but -- congresswoman waters was talking about to make that next that? >> and glad to ask that because i just wrote down about five recommendations for the president regarding transportation and infrastructure. now that we are past the debt ceiling vote, the next big funding bill that you will see on the floor is the reauthorization of the transportation bill. that bill, typically, we would rather it had been closer to $500 billion. it is going to be approximately half of that. it what are some things that the president can do and we can do to be included in transportation and legislation? number one, when you look at the $68 billion that was spent in the stimulus, we were told that a lot of jobs were created. where is the transparency to say, how many of those were new jobs? how many of those were jobs companies already had and they
just kept working and no one else got any help? number one, we need to make sure there is transparency. if we're going to have money for contracts, we need to know what your people you are bringing in off the streets that are new people and are now employed. we have to have transparency. number two, we have to make sure that the legislation includes money for training and apprentice ships. number three, we need to on bond of those contracts. to many of the developers are keeping the money for themselves. you have jobs being done in atlanta where you are bringing people from nevada to do the jobs, and that is wrong. we have to unbundle those contracts. fourth, many of our small businesses do not -- sure, they may be able to do a contract, but they may not be able to do an insurance bond of $10
million, $100 million. we have to include bonds. finally, we do not want contractors coming into our community and not giving local people an opportunity to do a job. those are five solid things i would like to see in a bill and for the president to insist upon. [applause] >> there is a question i have here that speaks to national high-speed rail coming on-line and what the possibility of that is, but i think it speaks to a broader question. as we begin to think about transportation in this country, when will there be a substantive line between infrastructure for our current mode of transportation and real vision for the cries of transportation will be able to have in 20 years, and will also create jobs in places like atlanta? >> that is the exact problem. the president considers high- speed rail to be a part of his
legacy, and he has dedicated a sufficient -- not a sufficient, but an initial start, $8 billion. unfortunately, one of the areas that they are expecting that to occur is the northeast corridor, which is the only corridor that has trains moving over 95 miles per hour. what we have to ensure is that as high-speed rail is being considered, they are considering all corridors, not just the northeast corridor. what about the southeast corridor? if we're going to put those dollars there, we are allowing other people to come and work. and people should know about jobs for the high-speed rail and there should be training and a princess -- apprenticeships assisted with it. the problem is they came out and said, we need to spend $20
billion a year just to maintain our existing low. that is all we are collecting right now in our gas tax. if we do not increase the tax revenue, which is one of the biggest discussions of the house, you will see no new projects or very few. that is why tax revenue must be on the table. >> i have a show of hands, questions from marvin on facebook. how many on the panel are small- business owners, or for more small-business owners? obviously, you have a different job now. the of a question from facebook -- the other question from facebook, when the tea party held the country hostage on the debt ceiling, why didn't the congressional black caucus hold out to for some action on jobs and minorities? and that is for anyone who would like to take it.
[laughter] >> i will take an initial stab at it. actually, many of us did. i voted no for that bill, and i voted no for two key reasons, one, the potential defense cut excluding the wars in afghanistan. we have got to stop funding those wars. if we cannot fund our own schools in the united states -- [applause] we certainly cannot find them in afghanistan. second, if the gang of 12 does not come to an agreement, there will be cuts on medicaid doctors'. it is tough enough now to get doctors to take medicaid patients. if there is another cut, you will not be defied a doctor who will take them. that is why i voted no. >> we simply did not have the
votes. and the country was at a place where we do not have a debt ceiling, we are already not able to pay obligations that are our responsibility. even if we did pass the bill, standard and poor's passed -- lower the credit rating. many people did not understand the impact of having the rating lowered. fortunately, it was only one of the rating agencies that did that. that would affect all of the retirement pensions invested. it would affect all of the local communities, how they can borrow money to build the infrastructure that we are talking about building to put people to work. it means that you will not be able to create those jobs because the cost of doing it would be prohibitive. and it means that those people from whom our government borrows
money and the people to whom we sell bonds would not be interested in investing. >> i see you are getting ready to grab the microphone, and i would like you to make the comment, but i'm concerned about something. as we travel to detroit for cleveland for here, but it is talking of the congressional black caucus were the president, people in the committee in particular want to feel that someone is fighting for them. whether you are voting yes or no, do you believe the congressional black caucus was vocal enough in how they were voting so that the people at home knew who was fighting for them and was not? i know you can only speak for yourself. how can the congressional black caucus on these and other issues be even more vocal? even when you have to play politics, this -- so that even when you have to play politics, people at home know who was fighting for them.
>> i have been in the congress for a while. never before in all of my years have we ever had this amount of discussion, this amount of debate and division about the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling used to pass the house in maybe five minutes, maybe 10 minutes in the senate. sometimes it is one line, maybe one paragraph, one piece of paper. but it was the tea party and the people who hijack it in the republican party, they wanted to destroy this president. they made a decision to make him a one-termer. and that is what it was all about, politics. i voted against it. i could not vote for it because in the end i felt it would
destroy the safety net, medicare, medicaid, social security, and all of these things that our people depend on. my sister from california is right. we have been fighting in afghanistan for 10 years, right? >> yes. >> none of these wars -- not one of these wars were paid for. they're not even budgeted. i am going to write a letter to the president about what dr. king would say. it will take a few days, but it will be published. and i'm going to say, mr. president, the thing you need to do, and the war. [applause] bring our young men and women home and stop robbing our children and our seniors, those
that have been left out and left behind. it is not right. it is not fair. and it is not just. and the same thing we are doing abroad, it will come back to haunt us in days and years to come. if we fail to be faithful to our own beliefs, to our own principles, history will not be kind to us. and i do not think god almighty will be kind. you have to take a stand sometimes, and that is what the majority of the black caucus did. >> first of all, as i move forward from this question, one- third of the cbc voted for it. two-thirds did not vote for it. many of us felt that the president should have used the 14th amendment and use that position to stand firm against the tea party republicans and make a decision to just raise
the debt ceiling. some of us went down and demonstrated on 14th and constitution for that. but going forward, as congresswoman richardson said, this committee is not going to come up with any agreement and if they were, it is not going to be one that the cbc is going to support. we have already started talking among the men -- the executive leadership about having our own proposal for where the $1.5 trillion will come from. and we have had a cbc budget every year. this year, it would have cut more than $1.5 trillion over 10 years and still invested in education, still invest in job creation and, still invested in health care. we know we can do it and we're working hard to get that message got through any means possible.
birther blogging enter facebook and we team and all of those things -- through blogging and through facebook and tweeting and all of those things because we are not going to take a mandatory cuts across the board. [applause] >> to the question, what can we do to make it known that we are truly fighting for people, we can do exactly what we are doing right now. we have come to atlanta so that you are not -- so that you will not only here, but you can see that we will stand up. there are some fights that you must lose and that is where we
are here, too sure you. and we are here to -- to show you. and we are here to say that if we can bail out aig, if we can be allowed to the auto industry, if we can be a lot of big banks, we can bail out the people of america. that is why we are in atlanta. [applause] but we're also here to tell you something else. it is about jobs, but a lot more. it is about people who do not believe in the safety net that you have paid into. there are people that want to privatize social security, -- we stand in their way. we believe these safety net programs are not entitlements. they are investments. you pay 6.2% of your income.
that is an investment for people who cannot invest on wall street. that is for social security. .45% for medicaid. that is an investment. we want them to continue to be there. that is why we are here and we stand for you. but there is another question. the question is, where will you stand? this is a tough question for you. because we now have a group of folks that call themselves by many names, but they have hijacked the principles of the civil rights movement. and they do not just go into their neighborhoods and protest, but they come into the hood and protest. the question is, what will we do? will we allow the minority
forces to speak for the majority? are we going to stand up for the things that we believe in and are we willing to go across town, are we willing to go into other places beyond our comfort zone and stand up for the cbc, stand with the cbc, and held the cbc -- help the cbc make a difference? will we work together? that is what is going to take. [applause] >> one of the things this group of people, the tea party, is not too keen on its unions. we senate in wisconsin and ohio, florida and in michigan, and going -- we have seen it in wisconsin and ohio, florida and michigan, going after union benefits. with your strength and the numbers that you have, what can
the cbc do to support unions across the country? and there is a report that specifically wants to know what the cbc will do for the postal service. i want to direct the one to congressman richardson because you served on several committees that deal with that business. >> looking at the continuing resolution as we finish the budget year, there were numerous unions to go after. the we were able to defeat most of those. if you look at even what is going on with the faa and a number of pieces of legislation coming through, there is a movement directed at labor unions.
part of it is a commitment from them to big business. part of it is their systematic war on the working class. what the caucus does and what the caucus will continue to do is advocate for brothers and sisters that are part of the labor movement. the labor organizations represent working americans. as much as we talk about labour and about unions, we are talking about people who have to come together in order to get their fair share. those are the principles that we stand for and that is what we fight for. let me just build this in because i do not have many chances where i get to disagree with a guy whose shoulders i stand on, which is congressman john lewis when he says we are fighting three wars.
we are fighting for wars. -- four wars. we are fighting the tea party, and they are willing to have as casualties, the 14th or 1 million americans who do not have a job. -- the 14.1 million americans who do not have jobs. a part of the other question of what we talked about is what can we do? and what can you do? we can help to change the conversation. and congress -- congressman lewis is right, the discussion over the debt ceiling went on far too long. instead of talking about the debt ceiling we should have been talking about jobs. but we did not have the chance to. now we have to be sure that we are talking about jobs what we o make sure we understand what is really going on.
and there is a republican majority that is sinful, and they are talking about our financial bankruptcy, and we are talking about moral bankruptcy, because we are supposed to help those who need help. we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters, and they are forgetting that so they can win the white house. we have to make sure we do not let other people tell us what the issue is. we know what issue is. this is jobs. if anyone talks to you about anything else, you should ignore them. that is why congress man hank johnson brought us here. we need to get them back to work. that was a long answer to a short question, but all of that is what we are fighting right
now, and that is a targeted war on an 98% of the american spirit -- of the targeted were 98% of americans. >> this question spoke to why, when the democrats had control of the house and the senate, where jobs not first on the priority now there was an opportunity for democrats to push jobs then. >> i was not a member of the 111th congress. more important, the 111th congress will go down as one of the best ever. they pass health care reform.
>> i want to make sure we get to as many questions as possible. hold tight for me for a second. let me make sure i am directly getting to this question, and let me get it to someone on the congress, because i think you made a great point that you were not there, so i want to make sure this question is answered by somebody who was on that congress. >> when we were dealing with the stimulus package, the biggest question we had was whether it was going to be a jobs package with infrastructure that would create jobs and pump revenue into the you see economy or whether it was going to be -- into the economy or whether it was going to be a bailout. we have that struggle. in the house and we passed a
good bill, but the senate has some strange rules. any require 60 votes in order to end debate, and the republicans have that number of votes to block the bill from coming to the floor. they use that leverage to prevent us. the congressman was one of our key spokesman. he was in negotiations and with the president, with the senate leaders, with all of the parties putting that packaged together, and it was everything we could do to get the number of jobs earmarked based upon the need for us and our communities like
, for them to be able to get the money from the stimulus for infrastructure projects they deserve. >> can i follow up as well? the stimulus passed by one vote. it was close in the senate, but some of the obstruction did not come from republicans. you had democrats. you had a former democrat but stood in the way not just of the stimulus bill, but also in terms of the health care reform bill. that is why there is no public option, because the democrat joe lieberman blocked it. how has the caucus worked to try to influence democrats in the senate suzanne with the agenda that the president needs to be -- present on. h
>> joe lieberman is no democrat. [applause] some of us worked to make sure he did not get back in the u.s. senate. he did, and he is there as an independent, and he is able to use his power in whatever fashion he deems is in his interest, voting sometimes with republicans and sometimes with democrats. the question is why didn't we do more. we really did do a lot. if we made any mistakes, it was not be enough. -- big enough. if you are going to have a stimulus package, it cannot be the kind that goes through the regular process with response to
proposals. it will never get to the communities, because the big boys, the contractors who have all of this monday, and not rip off all of that, and they do not hire into our communities. we have to do away with the way money is disbursed. we cannot put it in the hands of some of these governors or mayors who rip it off and never give it to the community, so those are some things we have learned. meanwhile, we are always working four jobs and not -- for jobs and the creation of jobs. there were 10 of us. we literally held up the dodd- frank bill and the recovery bill in order to create some jobs. one thing we did is we created
the neighborhood stimulus program. that is a program that puts money into the cities to rehab these houses that are boarded up that are creating so much strain on police and fire and messing neighborhood and all that. we discovered much of that money did not get where it was supposed to go. you have the realtors, the contractors, painters, everybody who gets a piece of the action, and we have some cities who have not spent the money, and some of its is going to the same old bunch and never got to our people. when we created the office of women and minority inclusion in all of the offices. the occ, the treasurer-we are not even in the table -- at the
table in these agencies. we have never had agencies were african americans have played a real hard. they really do not include us, so we created these opposite, and because some of us have seniority, we were able to get on the conference committee of the dodd-frank bill, and we worked it so it is in theire. today when you went downstairs, you saw something that said the offices of women and minority inclusion. we created that. they had to have directors. we gave them six months to put that into play. they have to have staffing. they have to look at all contracts coming through so they can make a decision whether or not those contracts include
diversity and turn them back, so we were constantly in many ways for job creation -- we work constantly in many ways for job creation, but we need to do a lot more because of what happened with this economy, and we have to focus on the financial institutions, on the gangsters of wall street, on the folks who ripped us off, on the folks who came into our communities and got us to sign on the dotted line for mortgages they knew you could not afford, on exotic products. do not worry about it. this comes do with the interest rates have been quadrupled. i wanted to get them in the white house around the table and say, we are going to make it very tough on you unless you put some of the people's money back
in the economy and help us create jobs, so we are always working in many ways to create jobs. many people do not have access to opportunities. why am i talking about this political moment of maturity? first, we have to understand our power. we have to understand there is power in organizing. there is power in numbers. anyone who would suggest the civil rights days are gone, let me have you rethink that. if you show up at any day in america at noon and throw a ring around -- at any bank in america
at noon and through a ring around its and say there is going to be a run, they will fix it. we are not doing our jobs to exercise our power. the tea party discovered something. they discovered if they organize, if they talk loud enough, if they threaten, is a registered to vote and a lack a few people -- if they register to vote and elect a few people, they could take over the congress of the united states. they called our bluff, and we blinked. we should have said, you got this country to close down, and if it had closed down in one day, the reversal would have taken place just as it did when bill clinton challenged them, and they close down the country, and the people rose up and were glad to get in and get it going again, and that is what we should have done, but you
cannot be intimidated. you have got to look the tea party and i and take them on. the people want us to fight. they want us to be strong, and they want us to not only create these jobs. they want something massive, something that is going to make a tremendous difference, and i think we are at that point where we have learned, we have worked, we have taken a enough where we are going to be insistent that what comes out in september is going to reflect the experiences we have had. >> you are talking about jobs in general and the african american community, but what about -- in the african-american community, but what about specialized areas? we have people who deal with specialized segments of the community who are having a hard time finding jobs.
one is people over 55. i know this job fair dealt with giving advice to people over 55. the second is people who have been out of work a long time. there are studies showing people who are jobless are less likely to get a job, and the third would be people with felonies on their record. what is the cost to specifically include items that deal with those specific items in any job? i am going to go back to senator richmond furs. >> the thing i was going to say on the last one is congress did pass the small business jobs bill last year, which yesterday i had the chance to announce $37 million going to small banks to lend to small businesses, because they employ 60% of new
jobs in this country. there is 100 million jobs hitting the streets, but when you talk about specific segments, that is something the caucus would like to talk about. we have to make sure we identify and we push to help very fragile communities, communities of color. when you talk about second chance, the congress started the second chance program, and we have to make sure when we talk about a second offenders, there are two things we have to do. one, we have to change the community mindset about when they come home. if you continue to isolate them, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, so we have to make sure we bring them home to a nurturing environment that will give them a second chance, so
that is why the second chance act was important, and if you are talking about seniors and communities of color, that is the conversation we are pushing to have. we want to make sure if we are going to have targets and special cases for the gay community, the hispanic community, but we also talk about ex-offenders. we are also talking about african american males dropping out of high school almost at 50%. we want to make sure we have targeted conversation. that is what we are pushing for, and that is the passion you are getting from us, because we know there are certain issues that are so important it is going to take a singular focus on that issue to fix, so i hope that answers your question about ex- offenders and second chance act. maybe somebody else can talk more about targeting our
seniors, but we would like to target special populations. >> there is another segment many of you have forgotten about, and that is the hundreds of thousands of veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan. if you go down to a downtown atlanta writes now on piedmont, you will see people on the streets homeless. statistics show as 9% or 10% of those are veterans. it could be higher, so we have an obligation to those veterans who have come back with ptsd, who come back with behavioral problems, who end up homeless and jobless, and of course one of those efforts that millions
of members of the congressional black caucus also congress has embraced is the hiring heroes act, which was sponsored by the -- in the senate by senator murray and me in the house, which really gives new meaning to rehab and job training and job opportunities for veterans, a special effort to give extended transitional assistance to our veterans so they will not end up homeless and jobless, and it provides incentives for employers, extra training for veterans. it provides extended unemployment for their veterans, but it gives more and brings together all of the existing training programs under one
bill with an additional resources. i think that bill will probably become law, but that is a targeted population that has suffered tremendously because of the unfunded wars, but who have paid the price that was necessary for our freedom and security in this country, and we owe them that, and that segment i believe will be addressed in the hiring humans act. >> -- hiring heroes act. >> one is infringements -- of movement that says to employers, and when someone comes in for a job, do not start out with, have you ever -- you have been convicted, but rather, let's take a look of this person.
who is this person? what experience do they have? to get a chance to see the whole person before you get to the question of whether or not you have been convicted, and we believe that gives you a better chance of getting that job. this is a difficult question for african americans in america because of the huge numbers of formerly convicted and so-called fallen as we have, and we really do have to make sure we provide some tax incentives, and there are some where they do some tax incentives for employers to hire people, and i understand some states are doing bonding where you take a chance on the former elaine incarcerated, you can get of bonds to protect you -- on the formerly incarcerated, you can get a bond to protect you. for women over 50, the justice
department needs to enforce discrimination laws. they need to make sure they know what is going on in society and that women and men have a place to go and that there is an effort of forward to learn what is happening in this workplace, why women over 50 are losing their jobs and being replaced with younger people they pay less money to and they do not have to pay benefits for, and why even for those who have been on the job until the point where the pension is due, they are getting fired. we need the justice department to weigh in on this. >> i just want to say since we are in hank johnson cost district, part of the question is about the unemployed being discriminated against. hank did not file a bill that would amend title 7 when -- did file a bill that would amend title seven that already
prevents discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, and it would adnah status to that. that is something that is long overdue, and it will fight discriminatory practice. >> one other segments we should not lose sight of is young adults, and we have heard a lot about the unemployment rate being 9% in the nation and 15% with african-americans. with our young adults, like unemployment is 23%. black and african-american is 39.2%. hispanic and latinos is 32%. now after our young people have gone to school, gotten their degree, they cannot get a job. they are competing with people already in the workforce, and what happens when they find
themselves unemployed for five years? it may be impossible for them to ever catch up, so that is another thing we should keep in mind. >> thank you all for those recommendations, but i think another sector as we go to the next question is young people, whether we are talking about a summer jobs funding being cut all over the country and juxtapose that to pour education systems that are not preparing young people to go into opportunities. there has been so much discussion of young people being connected to a lack of opportunity, so with that, there have been several questions asked about training, preparation, and opportunity, and those are different areas. what is congress doing, and where are the opportunities? as we are shifting in the
economy, those who may have been part of the skilled labour force partars ago are no longer of the emerging labour force. as what to do whether it is young people or in the general marketplace. >> i will start and yield to my colleagues. we are and have been for some time advocating job training for young people, job training for those who have been displaced, and also job training for persons who find themselves without a job because they have worked hard, done a good job, but they find themselves seeing their jobs go overseas to other
places. a lot of jobs we used to have in manufacturing we do not have any more, and we have to find a way to make sure we do not continue to incentivize relocating jobs from this country to other places. i want to take a moment and go back to something that was said earlier, and i want to say this to you. notwithstanding anything that has been said, president obama has been not just a good president -- he really has been a great president. he has been a great president. [applause] what we called a stimulus was not really a stimulus. it was a stabilization. this economy was losing 600 plus -- 600,000 jobs a month.
this president turned that around, and we have been creating jobs, more than 2 million. maybe not enough. we would like to do more, but thank god he did what he did to save this country. he has not save the world, but he did save the auto industry. he did not save the world, but he did save the financial structure of the country we all depend on. he has not save the world, but he has made it possible for those who do not have jobs to have unemployment insurance, and he has been fighting to keep that unemployment insurance in the pockets of people, so we all understand we have jobs to do, and we have to be vocal about things that impact our communities, but make no mistake about it.
this president has done a great job, and this president, when you look at what we are confronting, and we must reelect president rob obama. -- president barack obama. [applause] here is something to consider. if we do not reelect him, there are people who have already said in written as well as spoken words that they will do away with the department of education. they are going to eliminate it. they have said they will do away with minimum wage laws. there will be no minimum wage laws. they have said they will do away with early childhood development programs. they have said they will privatize social security. they have said they will voucher medicare, so we have a
challenge that goes beyond jobs. we have got to put this president back in the white house to protect the gains we have made. >> thank you very much. do you have a comment spam of >> i just want to say to you and to the audience that are raising questions. it is not just the president. it is not just members of the congressional black caucus. one of our problems in america right now, and we are too quiet. we have to make some noise. during another time in our history, we did not wait for the president to act, and the power
of some movement is to get people to say, yes, and they may have a desire to say no. we have to create a power. lyndon johnson said in 1960, the first time after martin luther king, jr., received a peace prize, dr. king went with a group of us, and we met with president lyndon johnson, and he said common-law -- and he says, you need to sign it. he said, make me. that is what we did. you need to get out there and push and pull. as in the congress, we have
three major trade bills that are pending, and people want it. they call every single day trying to get the votes from the ways and means committee. i say, no way. it means the transfer of jobs here, and the other side of congress, they do not have the will to vote for the trade adjustment act, and it is ok. if you lose your job, we are not going to help you. we are not going to make money available for training. we cannot stand for that.
you need to help us fight. we never had a web site. we never heard of the internet. we did not have a facebook. we did not have done ipad. we did not even have a fax machine, but we use what we had, and you have got to use what you have. do not be quiet. stand up. speak out. do it. >> we are coming very close to the and spirit of we are in our last 15 minutes, so we are going -- we are coming very close to the end. we are in our last 15 minutes, so we are going to have questions. i think the big issue is with companies emerging and becoming global, the skill set within a lot of african american communities is not adequate to meet the challenges of finding jobs, when you are competing
with people in india and china who are going to school year round and getting the education which in some black communities they are not. given the fact you have high dropout rates in many communities, low graduation rates, and a lot of america and -- a lot of african-americans are not prepared. what marching orders are they giving to protect and restore education funding, because even before you can get a job, you have to be qualified? what marching orders are they giving to protect education? what advice is he being given? what do you want to see out of that committee, if you think anything can? >> how do we answer this question? the education question is a bit complicated. you are absolutely right. the dropout rates are too high, and the investment in education
in this country is not substantial for a country of this size and these resources. we have got to make up our minds about whether we want public education and whether we are going to support it, or we are going to keep giving away our schools and these so-called charter schools into different interests, and we are all over the place on this. some directions are coming from washington, starting with leave no child behind. it is a mess of policy, -- a messed up policy, and what bothers me is a lack of involvement on local level where communities do not involve themselves in education. that is what bothers me. that is where the education policy is set. from the federal government level, we do title one and
subsidize education, but we should not end cannot be making the rules for how all of these communities operate. that is what the boards of education are about, but you do not see us at the board meetings anymore. they do not even ask parents. there is no parent involvement, and they did not want parent involvement, and if you come from a city like los angeles, they are giving away the schools to corporations and all these different people, and there is no indication or substantiation of the fact that they are doing better than public schools are doing. we need to pay the teachers. we need to put money in training and development of our teachers. we need to give support to foster parents sending these kids to school and managing large numbers of kids in one
setting. there is a lot we need to do. am i giving any direction to education? i am not. not because i do not want to solve the problems of education. the problems in education are huge, and when parents and communities decide that they really want to educate the kids, that they really want to stop the drop out, that they really want to have strong education systems, that is what is going to change this mess around. i fight against post-secondary schools who try to rip us off, the schools for computer learning that have no computers. i fight against those who track our people and tell them they can get a diploma and two and a half days. i fight against secondary
schools and that a rip-off all of this government's pell grants money, and people come out of the training program with nothing, so i have center in my action on trying to get croakoks out of education. i hope somebody on our panel is dealing with k through 12 -- k- 12. i am trying to get an office in the president's office for the excellence in education for african americans. there is one for latinos. we do not have one for african- americans. i am fighting for it. i always do something people do not want me to do. >> i want to make sure we get at least two more questions in before we have to close, and we have only 10 minutes. this question is from bill. he said earlier this year
president obama talk about the importance of wireless networks to our country, particularly because of the ability to create a new electronic development an entrepreneurial opportunities. how can we ensure this technology gets out to americans and talk to them about how it affects and jobs? anyone? congressman bishop? >> that was a substantial portion of the stimulus and will let was dedicated to -- stimulus bill that was dedicated to creating the infrastructure for technology networks, particularly for underserved areas-urban areas that were under served as well as rural areas. it was a tough fight, because the department of commerce wanted to control the whole thing, but we have at least 40%
of this country that israel, and it is not economically rewarding -- that is cruel -- rural, and it is not economically rewarding to invest in internet in those areas, so the stimulus and was designed, and thanks to the efforts of the congressman who was our person on the inside, he made sure that at least a substantial portion was allocated to us for rural communities and underserved areas. both contracts are in the process of being implemented not so that, for example, here in the state of georgia, and an 98% by the end of this year should be covered by internet access. that will help our young people
who are in rural areas who need to have advanced placement courses in their local school boards and cannot afford it, to be able to get distance learning through the internet. those communities that have underserved health-care facilities, to be able to get the internet so they can be connected to the hospital so that all of this, as well as small businesses. in my rural district, there is of great manufacturer who has been able to quadruple his business once he was able to get on the internet, so instead of selling his fish bait just in the counties around his southwest georgia location, he is now selling across the world
to all of the bait shops where they have the fishing as a vocation. >> speaking of internet, i neglected to give a shout out to those of you watching this. this is being streams, so we want to give a shout out to those watching via the internet. this is going to be our final question. martin would like to know what can be done by congress about companies that intentionally drive down wages, including nine by not buying american made products, -- including by not buying american-made products. outsourcing is a big problem. of what can be done if anything? >> we can remove the tax incentives they are currently using. if they are not going to bring jobs to the united states and they want to continue to ship
jobs overseas, they should not have the tax incentives. the last thing i would like to say, the president's initial plan for his jobs bill is infrastructure investments, patent reform, free trade agreements. i would suggest he started to do companies mondey things and incentivize them to do things for people who are on the employed. >> i need your assistance. there are seven more of you, and i am probably insane for asking this. if you can do this within one minute each as your colleague has set a precedent for, we can allow recommendations. i think there were two questions. one that said you are officially unleashed for atlanta, but what she followed
up to say was how do we support you and the president in what it is to be done, so i would like you to enter one of two things how can people in this room become advocates and be engaged in actions to be a will to support the congressional black caucus of local -- to be able to support congressional black caucus and local officials beyond voting? or no. 2, what are things get local community members can do to help better prepare people in their family to be ready for a job? one of two recommendations. what do you recommend folks do to help support you and the president? no. 2, on what can they do to
assist you or a family member be better prepared for a job? >> aside from being a legislator, i am an organizer. i believe in organizing. our communities need to be organized. start something, get people together. gets smart. educate yourself about how to challenge the elected officials, how to make things happen. the prepared -- be prepared. show up. you will get things done if you do that. >> less than a minute. why don't we start with congressman louis and work our way down? >> thank you very much. i want to use part of my minutes to recognize a young lady i have started working with as an organizer many years ago when she was only a teenybopper.
she was born and bred in virginia, and she came into the deep south and organized and got arrested and went to jail and did a lot of other things, and now she is a state senator here in georgia. i would say, and what you can do is stay engaged. get organized. help mobilize those that need to be mobilized. stay in contact with local, state, and federal officials. do not close go out and elect someone. when we have no telephone and
electronic town hall meetings, you can use the new with -- when we have telephone and electronic town hall meetings, you can use technology. he is in power. use it for good. thank you very much. >> we need to utilize every network we have. all of us have multiple networks. we got family. we have churches. we have fraternities, sororities. we need to utilize all of that. we need to tweet. we need to facebook. when we were dealing with the debt ceiling, the switchboard, and the service at the united states capitol was shut down. two or three days a crash because so many people were sending e-mail messages
expressing themselves on the issues. we do not want our social security checks cut off. we do not want our medicare cuts. we do not want our medicaid stopped. it was an amazing demonstration of the power of what people do when they are on message and on point and they are engaged. let's be engaged. >> we need to support teachers. we need to stand up for teachers. teachers did not create credit default swaps. they did not create derivatives. they did not create the reason we are in this condition, and we ought not to be cutting teachers' to save someone else. finally, there are 12 people who are going to make a decision concerning your lives. hayes street is about to spend
$100 million lobbying 12 people. where will you be? make sure they know where you stand on social security, medicare, medicaid, and jobs. >> the cbc members are only a part of your representation. you have got to senators, republicans, and other republicans we have to deal with every day. make sure when you organize you let them know what you stand for and what he wants them to vote for on your behalf. -- and you want them to vote for on your behalf. i am assuming georgia has a voter i.d. requirement. make sure you start to make sure everyone in this country, in the states that has a valid id so they can vote. 18% of seniors do not have of
votes -- and do not have an id that qualifies them to vote, and 11% of african-americans and hispanics, but seniors. please start today to make sure everyone in our communities has an adequate id for voting. >> thank you very much. >> i am going to move down my list in order, but i will tell you-- get engaged. you have to bring friends and family to vote. you have to bring information where you can get it, and the last thing is something we do not talk about much. we have to raise the level of expectations on our children. we have to do a better job of holding family members accountable, and i will tell you what an old lady said to me. she said, i am not worried
about osama bin laden terrorizing our neighborhood. it has been us terrorizing our neighborhoods. we need to hold our friends and brothers accountable. we have to say enough is enough and set high expectations so we can make sure this generation coming up now has the opportunities i had when i was coming up. >> the second part of your question is what specifically would we recommend they do in terms of getting a job. do not think you are above in a job. i worked at mcdonald's. i worked at ups, a 24-hour shifts. i worked two jobs for 10 years to get where i am today. do what you need to do to get your foot in the door, and then you will have the experience. >> she is the round of applause going for the members who came out today and -- give a round of applause for the members who
the memorial to dr. king opened to the public yesterday, but will be closed on friday and saturday to prepare for the official dedication ceremony scheduled for this sunday, which is the 40th anniversary of dr. king's "i have a dream "speech. the ceremony gets on air live sunday morning on c-span. >> note is the color of the bourbon, that amber color. that is all coming from the
chart on the inside of the barrel. this char is where bourbon gets all of its color and a lot of its flavor. currently, they have discovered over 200 different flavors just in the book from the barrel. -- the oak from the barrel. >> this weekend, we highlight frankfort, ky -- kenthucky. -- kentucky. on book tv, crawfish bottom. and the life of a cavalry soldier. in american history tv, a visit to buffalo trace distillery, one of only four distilleries open during prohibition, for
medicinal purposes, of course. this weekend on c-span 2 and 3. >> for politics and public affairs, non-fiction books, and american history, it is the c- span networks, available on television, radio, and online, and on social media sites. a search, watch, and share our programs anytime with our video library. on the road with our vehicles, we bring our resources to different communities. it is washington your way. the c-span networks, created by cable, provided as a public service. >> a discussion from this morning's "washington journal" about the secure communities program, which requires the fbi to share the fingerprints of
everyone held in local jails with the home and security department. markedback with krikorian -- mark krikorian and sarahi uribe. did i did ok with your name? we are talking about the deportation of illegal immigrants. what is the program? guest: a program that seeks to insure over the next few years that when a person is arrested and fingerprinted, when they are brought into the police station and their fingerprints are taking comfort their fingerprints are checked against the fbi and against the immigration databases to find out if the person has been
ordered deported or there is some other kind of outstanding immigration warrant against them. dew point is to do what americans think is already done -- the point is to do what americans are rethink its are redone. are you wanted in another state? and check whether there are immigration violations. a lot of people are deported. secure communities is one way of finding people to be deported. they usually did not report the numbers separately. secure communities has not rolled out to the entire country. the program was started during the bush administration. the time what is to have it in place everywhere by the end of 2013. it is likely to result in a large number of people
identified as illegal immigrants. hit on secure gets pai communities. not everybody is picked up because they have not ask for enough detention capacity to hold everybody. they will have to decide who they are going to pick up. a lot of people who are identified as being an illegal immigrant are in fact given a walk. they are not in fact picked up by the immigration service. the number of people deported overall over the past couple of years has been under for under thousand a year -- under for a hundred thousand a year -- under 400,000 a year. guest: american communities are
less willing to call the police. criminals are the ones who benefit from this program. you cannot solve a problem if people do not: the police to report the crime. cities and states know this is common sense. you cannot work with a community if they are not willing to talk with you. host: that is one of the points that is brought up. guest: one of the talking points but it does not make any sense. i can see how you can make that argument with regard to checking the immigration status when someone is stopped for an illegal left turn. there is no empirical evidence that this claim is true. affect onchilling
cooperating with the police in a domestic violence case or something like that. if it were true in those kinds of more casual encounters with the police, how can you argue that someone who has been arrested and taken to the police station, had his fingerprints taken, that that action is going to dissuade members of the public who are not criminals from working with the police. secure communities is one of those threshold issues. if you are opposed to identifying immigration law violators among criminals, you're not serious about immigration enforcement. you're opposed to the very idea of enforcing immigration law. it is almost kind of a minimum standard that at least people who are arrested by the police should have their immigration
status check. it mystifies me how anyone can be against this unless they are against the concept of departing anyone. guest: 3 governors -- the governor of massachusetts, new york, and illinois, as well as other localities have opposed this program because it hurts public safety. we have the top experts saying this undermines their ability to prevent and solve crimes. we have seen the stories of domestic violence survivors who called police and wind up being deported. the program was touted as targeting serious criminals. it has created a deportation dragnet. traffic offenses at a time of
scarcity. it doesn't make sense. host: this is put out by i.c.e. the green is those that are activated. all little over 5000 jurisdictions that are activated. you mentioned the governors who do not want to be part of the program. what is the status of those who would like to get out of the program? guest: when the government rolled out this program, they said it was voluntary. the district of columbia asked to opt out as follows other cities, such as san francisco. there is critical resistance from the cities and states. the government wants to force this program on every jurisdiction. this is about government. you do not signed contracts and decide they are meaningless.
that is the point where we're at. this may be a question about the state's rights and whether the government can have this unfunded mandate. the way states can opt out of the program is to not submit fingerprints to the fbi at all. that is a voluntary thing. every state has a clearing house where the local jurisdictions send the fingerprints and from there they go to the national criminal information center. states can say that we are not going to participate. that means there police don't have any access to any federal databases. that is irresponsible. confusion came with regard to the ability of being voluntary. the obama administration was
ambivalent about the program and was sending mixed messages. this is a problem the political appointees to the obama administration created rather than one that is inherent in the program. you get no fingerprints from anybody. if that is ok with you, then that is irresponsible. host: this is an addition of "the new york times." guest: those statistics are in a false or alarming. we filed a lawsuit about six years ago. we have received 17,000 internal documents.
we found out that the majority of the people deported through the program are non-criminals or they were convicted of a misdemeanor. what is a criminal alien? this is a term that is not defined. we have the presumption of innocence in this country. this program flies in the face of that. host: the news on thursday that canceledation was -- guest: this is a step in the right direction for the president. it is good he understands that
indiscriminate enforcement has had catastrophic -- there have been false and now spends. they had three announcements in the past and we have not seen results. we are innate wait and see moment with this policy. -- we are in a wait and see a moment. host host: residents with police records who came here illegally -- your reaction to this decision.
guest: it is a lawless act. every executive -- president, governor -- has to have some will room -- some wiggle room. there'll be some exceptional cases where you'll want to make an exception. the problem is this policy is that the administration is turning that wiggle room into the law. congress has rejected something called the dream act. this is amnesty for people who came there at a young age and met other requirements. the administration is implementing the dream act and spitting in the face of congress. host: do you think there will be lawsuits on this? guest: that is a good question.
i have no idea. the problem is that even those people who supported the dream act should be deeply disturbed by this. there is going to be an administration at some point in the future of that they do not like on immigration. it established a president or congress can reject a policy measure or proposed law -- is .top was a president'cedent the people who would benefit from this new policy would not be deported. it is not as though the government would look the other way and if you're not there, they will not look for you. people will in fact be amnestied. this is administrative and a state and in a constitutional
sense is outrageous. host: deportation policy is our topic this morning. we'll take your e-mails, phone calls, and your tweets. host: we go to john, a democratic caller from ohio. caller: yes. hello? host: you are on the air. caller: i think the lot is totally ridiculous. we're bringing back -- i think the law is ridiculous. we have 10 million illegals in this country. they are violating the law. we are rewarding them for violating the law. we give them schooling, housing.
we give them medicaid. we give them food stamps. we are rewarding them to commit the law. you go out and get a traffic violation, you have to face the law. when are we going to make these people face the law regardless? thank you for your time. guest: the caller is right. the system is broken. there are about 12 million people in this country that are undocumented. we're not going to deport all of them. that would be immoral. we to figure out what is most important to us. host: john, a republican, in new hampshire. caller: for a student getting
run over by an illegal immigrant who had a prior conviction of assault and battery on a police officer. i'm sick of these liberals. are one vietnam thavets the street. give the american people some help. host: dennis is an independent in michigan. caller: we are not a country that is not compassionate. we're not a country that is immoral. it is important to take care of americans that are in this country first. there are probably people suffering in louisiana from katrina and other people in appalachia or in the ghettos of detroit and boston and
washington, d.c., that have legal citizens that are suffering that are not getting the care that they need. let's take care of the americans in america. your point.t p guest: we have a government to look after the best interest of american citizens. illegal immigrants have not just violated the immigration law. across theem stocnuck border. once they are here, illegal immigrants are committing perjury if they got a job and sign the forms when you show your social security and driver's license. if i commit perjury, i go to jail. illegal immigrants do not.
they create a whole history with a so security number with potential problems. if i do that, i go to jail. illegal immigrants do that and they did not go to jail. in certain areas of the law, illegal immigrants are in a privileged position. they are better off than american citizens because we give them a pass to commit a whole slew of crimes without holding them accountable. host: you represent day laborers. what are you involved in this? guest: people like to think of all criminals that commit crimes on a daily basis. undocumented immigrants are nannies. they pick our vegetables.
some are heroes. we are a part of this society. people are married to us. it makes no sense to continue to deny people that kind of political and social equality. day laborers look for work across the country. there were thousands of day laborers the were recruited to go build after hurricane katrina. it was the day laborers that rebuilt that city. they have a right to remain in a place they now call home. host: democratic caller from texas. caller: miss uribe, i understand what you're saying. those jobs that these people are working on, years ago, kids at
of high-school or trying to make extra money over the summer -- i came from california and i'm also a teacher. i will tell you that these kids are reading at a second and third grade level in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. there are things they bring across -- microbes. we have had an uptick in a whopping cough and other diseases. when you say "undocumented," you're trying to soften the word "illegal." guest: sorry to hear that people are reading and a second-grade level. the underlying tone of the caller -- of what the caller was
saying was a little bit disturbing, that immigrants carry disease. the way that immigrants were described in the 1950's, it is upsetting and people are ready to talk about a real solution. people want to figure out a way to move of forward. host: ed, a republican from georgia. caller: i feel president obama feels more about the illegal mexicans that he does about the people of the united states. he is going around the laws. he is not following the constitution. this man is dangerous. host: we have a tweet from bill.
we go to clay in arkansas. caller: thank you. i have to agree with mr. krikorian about the comment he made about the perjury and fraud we americans must face. as far as the lady who called from texas, there has been a substantial uptick in the last decade for of tuberculosis. i would like to ask miss uribe, who is espousing the talking points, what is the criminal penalty for illegally going to mexico? it is quite severe. congress should quit giving their powers away to the executives. the constitution says the united
states government is to protect our borders. we have 20 million unemployed americans, 12 million aliens, and we have a bunch of troops that we should bring home and they should have jobs. host: a democrat from philadelphia, jen. caller: i think this issue is important. it is one of the things that has not been mentioned and needs to be recognized. many people come there without documentation and they work and they send some of the money home, but they are also supporting our domestic economy. it can only be remedied by some kind of immigration reform that allows legal authorization for people who work here. host: